Last night was the opening performance of On Golden Pond at Redhouse Theater’s new home and both the location and performance were grand.
I’d like to start with the much anticipated renovations to the building. Before even entering the theater, it was very nice to pull into the theater’s parking garage and simply walk up a few stairs into the building. Especially last night, when the weather was simply nasty, being completely out the elements and ample downtown parking at the facility was a nice change of pace not available to most of the entertainment facilities downtown. $7 parking the night of the event and the garage remains open to midnight.
Inside, the new space is very open, modern and industrial looking. Open is one of the picture from the Post-Standard article showing the hallway to the grand reception area outside of the three new theater spaces. The stage area was much much larger, as was the set design with plenty of space to spare. It was also nice to be able to be seating with a little elbow room. Certainly enough space for those worried about fitting in the smaller seats found at the Landmark and the former location. In truth, none of the seating is comfortable after sitting for over two hours, but the new Redhouse does it much better than most.
If anyone from the Redhouse is actually reading this blog, I would recommend the addition of more seating around the cafe area. There are some built in benches, but the majority waiting patrons will be standing and with the amount of available space, a few bar stools and small tables would be a nice addition for the future. I’d also suggest the addition of a few finger sandwich and IPA beer selections to the cafe menu. But next time out, I’m looking forward to trying the Cubano … four shots of expresso over a couple of sugar cubes!
Of course, I’m all about local history and the fact that this particular location was one of the lost city theaters (before transformation into a department store) was not lost on me. Although not a traditional renovation, it still seems a tribute to the essence of the entertainers who performed here in the city’s earlier days. Overall, very nicely done and well worth checking out a performance here.
Regardless of the facility, without a quality performance, all is for naught. Redhouse continues to deliver this time and time again. Anyone in my generation or older will be familiar with the movie On Golden Pond and if you liked this movie, you’ll love this show. Fred Grandy (Love Boat’s Gopher) delivers big time. I swear he was channeling Henry Fonda, while making the role his own .. great timing and a lot of laughs. The rest of the staff, including his daughter, Marya and Jan Radcliff, all delivered great performances.
A very enjoyable evening … thanks to all of the Redhouse staff and patrons for making this transition a reality. Congratulations to all of you, especially Laura Austin who’s work behind the stage is just as impressive as what she can do under the lights.