My Favorite Video Blogs
New on My
Support liberty and justice for all
25 YEARS IN THE MAKING
11 November 2005
There were times--lots, and lots and lots of times--when nobody would have given you a plug nickel for my chances of doing what I have been doing for the past two days.
On Wednesday evening I attended a ribbon cutting and had a tour of the brand new Davis Musical Theatre Company theater. It's a ways from being finished, but the show was scheduled to open in two days, completed or not. The rug needs to be installed, the painting needs to be done, the curtains need to be hung, and there are lots of last minute details that will keep the company going for weeks yet, but the show will open in the new theatre.
The plan had been to open the 2003 season in the new theatre, but there were funding problems which pushed the opening to definitely the start of the 2004 season. But again there were set-backs and so nobody really believed it when they announced that the 2005 season would open in the new theater.
They had become the "company who cried theater." But as information kept coming out about the opening show there was nothing to indicate that it would not, in fact, open in the new theater.
Then the newspaper printed an article which announced the time for the ribbon cutting and for the pre-opening night reception.
It was really going to happen!
I'm scheduled to review the opening night performance, but wrote to Co-producer, Steve Isaacson, to ask if I could come to the ribbon cutting ceremonies. He said definitely, and to also come to the gala party the following night
And so on Wednesday I presented myself to the theater and got the grand tour from co-producer Jan Isaacson.
It may be strange to include a bathroom picture here, but the Isaacsons are very proud of the fact that they have built a much larger than normal theater women's bathroom. I know there are going to be a lot of women who will appreciate their thoughtfulness!
Jan's tour included the new orchestra pit (the orchestra has been playing on a platform backstage for years) and the elevator for disabled musicians and/or large instruments.
Lighting designer, Danette Vassar was thrilled with all the new equipment to work with.
Costume designer Jean Henderson has a huge costume area instead of having to work out of her home, as she has for the past 15 years.
When the "dignitaries" arrived for the official ribbon-cutting, the editor of the newspaper introduced me as "one of the stalwarts of the Davis Musical Theatre.
Well...not quite. But we were there from the very beginning. Walt was the very first set builder, when the company was situated in a warehouse over by the railroad tracks. I think they still use the barber chair he built for Sweeny Todd. It's been refurbished, but I think that it's basically still the chair Walt built.
The kids had worked with the Isaacsons before there ever was a Davis Musical Theatre (Steve cast Paul as Winthrop and Jeri was Amaryllis in The Music Man.). Adult Jeri and adult Paul worked with (and sometimes locked horns with) the company when they (first Jeri and then Paul) managed the downtown movie house which had been converted into a theatre, which has been the home of DMTC for the past several years.
So I guess we are sort of "stalwarts," though now I sometimes lock horns myself with various members of the company in writing reviews of productions....but not always.
However, because we have known Steve and Jan for 30 years and been associated, either directly or peripherally, with the company since its inception, it just is a real kick to see this long-held dream of owning their very own theatre come to pass.
The new stadium seating will be wonderful and I tested out the chairs themselves--very comfortable. I know I will definitely appreciate the additional leg room.
After all the invited guests had been given a tour of the facility, there was the ribbon cutting. I was the official photographer, and then we discovered that the newspaper wasn't going to print a photo anyway, which was a great disappointment.
But the ribbon has officially been cut and tonight I will attend a gala party, the official celebration the night before the official opening night.
Opening night will take place with the building still not finished, but at least they will be on their own stage, with their own orchestra in a real live orchestra pit and the costume shop right backstage.
It's a dream come true for this company which has stuck it out through thick and thin and has proven that they really have the right stuff.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Proud? Who them?