On the second date she still looked good but I noticed she wasn’t exactly perfect. Would she mind if I commented?

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  October 16, 2011  A second look at the newest gem in the city – the Burlington Performing Arts Centre.  We are all agog about the place and Our Burling has certainly been a big and consistent supporters.

Having attended the Royal Wood performance and noting that it wasn’t sold out, we didn’t bother going on line to order tickets to the Jacob Moon event – just drove downtown and expected to walk up to the box office and buy a pair of tickets.  SOLD OUT – which is great but we missed out on a performance the Missus wanted to take in and she wanted to see the place I was talking about so much.

Jacob Moon - SOLD OUT at the Performing Arts Centre

I had checked in on the web site and there was no mention there that the event was sold out – I didn’t think Moon would fill the 718 seat Main Theatre.  Nowhere on the first level of the web site was there a note that this was a Studio Theatre event. The start time was there and that’s  what I was after.  I think if I’d know that I would have gone on line and ordered.

So, to the folks in the marketing department, which I assume is responsible for the box office and the web site – tighten things up over there a bit please.  Use the technology to be instant – when the last ticket sells get the words SOLD OUT (which you just have to love) up on the web site pronto.

The Centre is one of the best people watching places in the city, especially if you get up into the second level where you can look down into the Family Room.  With no tickets available, the Misses and I decided to have a glass of wine and just enjoy the space.

“It’s bare”, said the Missus. “There are no plants, no colour – it’s a cold room – can’t call a cold room a Family Room.”  I’d not looked at the space quite that way, but the Missus was right.  There is no colour unless you are sitting in the Main Theatre and you see that gorgeous, magnificent, crimson  red, velour curtain that rises so elegantly.

The walls have no art on them.  There isn’t a picture montage telling the story of what the site looked like when it was the local police station and then pictures of the various construction stages it went through.  There are places on some of the pillars where luscious green plants could be placed.

The Family Room and the upper level could use a little more furniture – kind of bare except for the two very comfortable chairs on the upper level.  The square upholstered benches don’t support your back when you’re sitting .

The Family Room would be a great place for a huge Christmas Tree - all that space and to be able to see it from the street lit up at night. Will wee see something like that this year.

And what are they going to do around the 10th of December?  Will there be a humungous Christmas tree erected smack in the middle of the Family Room and will there be a community event to decorate the tree?  Maybe Carollers in costume walking about as people take part in the decorating of the tree.  So many opportunities to brighten up the place – not that it is dour or dull – but now that it is open and done “on time and under budget” as well – let’s make it look  lived in.

The bar has potential.  It’s long, approaching twenty feet is my guess, and the prices are manageable.  $8.00 for a very decent 7 ounces of a good Chardonnay.  Friendly staff with a mobile bar up on the second level.  And even though the crowd for the Jacob Moon performance was small – they were using the Studio Theatre, there were quite a few people bellying up to the bar for some libation.

Now, Centre staff will ask for some time to get all these little things done – they don’t get the time.  This is a “community” theatre and every one of us are landlords and we want to see that place just hum.  The Jacob Moon event was, we are told, one of the first events, where a performer rented the space and put on his own show.  Moon has a significant following with the Christian evangelical crowd and they were out there supporting his music.

The Stewart McLean Vinyl Café performance has been extended to include a Matinee – the evening performance was SOLD OUT.  We’re doing something right – but let us not rest on our laurels.


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