New Paint Gives Theatre Facelift, But Larger Space Still Needed

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on August 30, 2013

A facelift gives an old facade, even the Roxy’s, a fresh new look and a more vital appearance.

The paint job may look new — and it is newly painted — but it is a retro look from the early ‘80s, a look we gave this facade back in 1983. When we first saw the theatre, it was Eye Ease Green. Now it is Stop Sign Red.

A new look is one thing, but much more needs to be redone, repaired, redesigned, reconstructed, reconfigured and, most importantly, made green.

In 1983, The Leaf-Chronicle called the Roxy “the cornerstone of downtown redevelopment.” Back in 1983, the avenue was fairly dead after 3:00 in the afternoon. Once the banks closed, the streets were all but literally rolled up. Nobody lived downtown in those days; it was just us and Louis and Chrissy Lahiff.

Each of our upcoming productions has under the skin of its plot, story or theme an innate value, importance and, for me, a little terror as well, real or imagined. Take our 31st season opener, Monty Python’s Spamalot, for instance. Where will we put all of those 3,000 costumes and props we have rented when they aren’t being worn or used by all of those actors?

As for The Great Gatsby — and more importantly the Gatsby set, which fills the stage of theotherspace upstairs — designer Kyra Bishop has done herself proud with her creative eye and masterly technique. But it means that nothing can be produced up there until the set is moved downstairs to the mainstage.

I’ve been reading a cluster of one-acts by APSU drama professor Darren Michael. But those plays will have to wait for production until Jay Gatsby dies in that waterless swimming pool. And if anyone can drown in a waterless swimming pool, it would have to be Michael Anthony Spaziani. He died so beautifully in last season’s Civil War Stories that I had him die three times at each performance. Why? Because it was sad, touching, romantic, heroic and a useless act of bravery, which broke my heart each time I witnessed it. And I’m sure it did the same for the audience as well.

Then it is Frog and Toad‘s woods, four seasons, lake and homes for both, all running in tandem with Plaid Tidings — two shows which have naught in common, but must totally disappear so the other can play.

Tonight at 8pm is the final performance of our “on the terrazzo” revue, An Evening with Rodgers & Hammerstein. And this Saturday at 8pm, the Cumberland Winds concert band will grace the Roxy mainstage with a special presentation featuring vocalists Ryan Bowie, Mickey Rafalski and Michael Spaziani, along with pianist Dr. Vicki King. Admission for both nights is $20. Tickets for Friday night’s “on the terrazzo” performance are available online at or at the box office, while tickets for Saturday evening’s mainstage performance are only available by cash or check at the box office or through Cumberland Winds.

See you at the theatre!

[John McDonald]

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