MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - A long time Mobile staple - the Joe Jefferson Playhouse - which has been closed since the Christmas day tornado damaged it, is preparing for its first performance since the storm.
Danette Richards, president of Joe Jefferson Playhouse Board, has been working hand in hand with the city to get Joe Jefferson back up and running.
"You can't even understand how excited everyone, including our fans are. We're getting telephone calls and e-mails asking when we're opening and what they can do," Richards said.
Thousands of dollars had to be put into repairs of the roof and other parts of the building.
"We didn't have a power bill, which was good ‘cause that can run a lot of money. But we had other expenses that we continued to accrue, and we had to pay those without a revenue," Richards said.
This opening night has been a long time coming for the latest production's director Rick Miller.
"It's going to be like a big two-ton weight off our shoulders. Opening night is finally here. There was a time after the storm that we weren't sure we were actually going to be able to do the show," Miller said.
Miller said despite the months of repairs and several postponed shows, he has his entire cast back, except for one person. He said he believes that's a testament to not only what this playhouse means to the city of Mobile, but the entire staff that volunteers here.
"It's been traumatic for us obviously because we couldn't perform our shows. But we're up and running again and everybody is so ready to get back on the boards and provide entertainment for our community," Miller said.
The play was originally set to go on stage in late January but issues with the city undermined the process. A question was raised regarding ownership over the property and who was responsible to pay for the damages
The play "Wait Until Dark" kicks off Friday, May 24.
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