Everyman Theatre, which has been a lynch pin in the Station North Arts and Entertainment District on Charles Street for almost two decades, has moved! This morning, at 10 o’clock, it was the ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the official public opening of the brand new Everyman, just around the corner from the Hippodrome on the West side.
A little over three years ago, on November 23rd 2009, I attended an event that they billed as, “Celebration at the Town”. This was at the old Town Theatre, which had operated as a movie house (hosting such openings as “It’s a Wonderful Life”), in the 1940s, but then fell on hard times, and closed in 1990. Since then, the space – which was originally built in 1910 as the Empire Theatre and had seen other iterations as the Palace Theatre and even as an indoor parking garage – had stood vacant, and the event on that chilly November day, was to set the stage for the $18 million renovation for the new Everyman. The old place was so decrepit and in such a state of uninviting disrepair that I found myself admiring the visionaries with a touch of scepticism.
Three years on, the transformation is remarkable! I confess I was concerned that the aura of intimacy that has been such a trademark of Everyman Theatre productions, would be lost, but they’ve done a great job of maintaining that. The whole design, while clearly state of the art, is quite simple – concrete floors, functional seating, no frills, just a neutral space to create live theatre.
This gala weekend will see the opening of the inaugural production in their new home: “August: Osage County” by Pulitzer Prize winner, Tracy Letts, directed by Everyman’s Founder and Artistic Director, Vincent Lancisi. As the theatre saying goes, ”Break a leg!”fun, theater