Tivoli (Music Hall)
1973 - 2011

The story of the Tivoli Music Hall is one of the more fascinating in the park starting even before the park first opened, as it was originally designed to be an open-air theater, and only became the enclosed theater due to the pressing of Jack Steadman during construction. Tivoli opened not known as a "music hall" but instead as Tivoli Playhouse, but still with its expansive fly system or theatrical rigging system intact. Tivoli would receive a significant expansion in 1974, with the addition of a covered marquee entranceway, and would remain virtually unchanged for the next four decades. Over the years, Tivoli would become synonymous with two major yearly events, its Band & Choir Festival, which premiered in spring 1974 and continues to this day and second, it's summer show series which would typically begin in the late spring and continue through to Labor Day. The Tivoli shows which began in 1973 with "Twentieth Century Sing" and would be discontinued after the 2011 hit of "Don't Stop Believin'" would feature a cast of 8-12 talented young adult singers and dancers, along with the Tivoli orchestra, or live band. The musical theme would change with almost every year, and featured music from Broadway, to popular music spanning the entire 20th century, and varied depending on the theme of the production. In many cases, the Tivoli show was so synonymous with the park itself that the title for the production was also used as a tagline for park promotional materials such as "Let Yourself Go" in 1983 and "Break Away" in 1984.

The only addition to the summer Tivoli shows was in the early 1980's when the park continued to branch out its live entertainment and offered a second, separate summer Tivoli production which also pushed the bar on the technical production side as well. These shows included "Starbeam Music Machine" in the 1983 and 1984 seasons, which was basically, a slick slideshow set to music, and quite possibly the Tivoli Tour de Force, "Haunted Theater" in 1985 and 1986. Haunted Theater which offered an escape into the world of haunt and mystery, and was quite possibly one of the most elaborate magic shows ever produced in any park, to a point that syndication to other parks across the country was attempted.

The point was clear, the envelope was continuously being pushed when it came to bigger and more elaborate productions. Tivoli productions were complete with extensive scene changes and props. Everything began to change with the early 1990's though, the cost-cutting began slowly and then snowballed with shows beginning later in the summer and ending sooner, less elaborate scenery and then no scenery at all in the later years. The last show, "Don't Stop Believin'" was introduced in 2009, and played at Tivoli the last three years was a tribute to the 1980's Rock Bands, and while still technically quite good, spelled the writing on the wall, Tivoli live entertainment was on its way out. After the 2011 season the plug was pulled, and budget cuts destroyed a forty-year tradition at the park.

Tivoli continues to be used for various uses, in the spring it is still used for its original purpose, the Choir and Band Festival. In the fall, it continues to be used for various haunt entertainment, and for the upcoming Winterfest as well. Sadly, it appears Tivoli will never see a return of its summer shows, and that part of its story is now history.

Tivoli Full Schedule from 1973-2011

1973 - Twentieth Century Sing
1974 - Be Young Again
1975 - Friends
1976 - Worlds of Follies
1977 - Come on and Sing
1978 - Razzle Dazzle
1979 - Gotta Dance
1980 - Pizzazz!
1981 - Sparkle
1982 - Tivoli 10
1983 - Let Yourself Go/Starbeam Music Machine
1984 - Break Away/Starbeam Music Machine
1985 & 1986 - Haunted Theater
1987 - Breakin' Out
1988 - Shine
1989 - 1991 Too Hot
1992 - Tivoli 20
1993 - All Aboard for Broadway
1994 - 1997 - Country Style
1998 - 2000– Singin' Swingin' and Rockin' the House
2001 - 2003 – Rockin' the House
2004 & 2005 - Snoopy Rocks
2006 - Livin' in America
2007 - Dance to the Music
2009 - Let the Good Times Roll
2010 & 2011 - Don't Stop Believin'

YouTube Videos

Excerpt from Tivoli 20 (1992)

Tivoli 10 (1982)

Additional Photos

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