Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays!

This video was something I originally put together for the Festival of Carols, but Mother Nature had other plans that night and we had to cancel it due to weather. Not wanting to see it go entirely to waste, I thought I'd post it up here. Sort of a "year in review" video, although it doesn't begin to capture all of the 160+ events that were in the Englert this year! Happy Holidays!



Saturday, December 13, 2008

A-list at the E



Here are some pics from the night. We had a screening of Ashton's movie "Personal Effects." Seemed to be a decent movie from the little bit that I saw. There were a lot of adoring fans screaming as he took stage. Overall a good event for a good cause. Oh yeah, Ashton and Demi were very nice.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A different kind of Atmosphere...

We had our first big hip-hop show last night: Atmosphere. Tonight we have An Irish Homecoming. Last weekend we had Beauty and the Beast.

Diversity, anyone?

Good thing we're not doing an afternoon show for kids today, cuz it kinda smells like booze in here.

Atmosphere's crew brought in a sick subwoofer that shook my whole body when the bass notes were thumping. It also shook some of the plaster and paint off the walls, unfortunately. The more of these bass-heavy shows we do, the more we need to tuck away for capital maintenance.

Not much to say, other than that I thought it was a cool show. It was more than sold out a couple hours before the show - standing room only. Most everyone was standing anyway.

Oh - and just a reminder for everyone, to save you and us the trouble of dealing with it the night of a show:

Ya can't smoke in here. Anywhere. Anything. You stick out like a chimney, and when we find you, ya can't stay. Sorry - them's the rules.

Check out the pics, y'all.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Oh, the Horror.

I didn't see the Rocky Horror Picture show the last time it played at the Englert, ten years ago. In fact, I hadn't seen it all. Ever. I can count on one hand the number of people I know who can say the same thing.

After seeing - or rather, experiencing - it tonight at the Englert, I get what all the fuss is about:

It's a football game. A music festival. A political rally.
It's a shared social experience. You have to be there to really get it and understand it. It's less about what's happening on screen, and more about what's happening around you.

Duh. This is surely not news for those who have seen it one or one hundred times, and it's what I had always heard. But still - seeing it? Yeah, I get it.

It's hard not to be impressed by the allegiance of the fans, their depth of knowledge about what and when to scream, and their willingness to give 30-year-ago Susan Sarandon and Tim Curry a run for their money in the campy sexpot department.

Around 400 people turned out. Everyone was cool, got into it, no problems, the Riff Raff guys did great, staff and Transylvanians alike threw down to clean up afterwards... I think one person puked, but other than that the cleanup was all dry goods.

I think it was a big success, and I hope we do it again.

Check out some pictures here.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Ten Year Time Warp

(This is a guest post from one of the hosts of Riff Raff Theater, Chris Hanel.)

Sean graciously handed me the keys to this little corner of the internet and I wanted to take the opportunity to say hello before raising the curtain on our big show tomorrow night, probably the most important one we've done so far in the year-long run we've enjoyed having at the Englert.

In case you haven't seen one of our million posters sprinkled around downtown Iowa City, we'll be bringing the Rocky Horror Picture Show back to the Englert tomorrow night at midnight, and thus closing the circle on a long and circuitous journey that has lasted a decade. It was in the fall of 1998 that I was dragged to see Rocky at the Englert by a friend and his parents, who, luckily for me, didn't bother to check with mine for permission. Girlfriend in tow, the initial shock and terror of what was transpiring around me melted away into a dumbfounded joy that was opened up to a whole new idea of what a night at the movies could be like.

Forever altered (or traumitized, if you like), that initial joy has spawned and mutated over time into Riff Raff Theater, and it is with a childlike glee that we are fortunate enough to host The Rocky Horror Picture Show, exactly ten years after it served as the birthplace of my own demented passions.

If you're coming tomorrow night, and especially if you've never been a part of such a show before, we hope you leave the theater with the same excitement that we all have upon our first experience of Rocky Horror. I look forward to the show with an extreme amount of antici--

(SAY IT!)

--pation.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Night School

Writing grants and other funding requests is a lot like writing papers for school.

Which may explain why, for the third night in a row, sitting at Panera with the laptop and the truly genius-like Genius feature on in iTunes, command-tabbing back and forth between two such projects, I feel like I'm back in school.

Except technology and my laptop are waaaaaay better now, making it all a little more pleasant.

Writing like this forces me to clarify my thinking. To drill down into the details. To articulate assumptions and support arguments. To make decisions.

It's cliche, but it's true: if you want to get something done or commit to something, write it down. Until you do that, no matter how good a handle you think you have on something, it's still amorphous.

Amorphous isn't a bad thing - but it's clarity and details that ultimately take your good idea/argument/habit/whatever a big step closer to reality.

And now I sound like I'm teaching in school...

Point is: it's been a long two weeks, there are still a few days left to go, it's all coming down to the last minute, the stakes are high, and I should be feeling the pain. But I don't (yet). It's been valuable for me personally and for the Englert to STOP: take the time - even if it's at night in a coffee shop - to prioritize, pull thoughts out of the air and articulate a clear vision for who we are, what we want to accomplish, how we're going to do it, and why it's deserving of financial support.

That was a run-on sentence that would get dressed up by red ink if I actually was in school.

Back at it. Coffee #3.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Yes, those are trees.

Just got back from tonight's Jason Reeves and Tyrone Wells show. Sounded and looked amazing. Chris asked me after the show if there were ever any concerts at the theater that made me want to go home and write music. Happens quite a bit, I said. Ben Schmidt. Andrew Bird. Randy Newman.

There are other events where I consciously force myself to just... stop. Look around. Take it all in. Experience what is going on around me. How privileged I am to do what I do, to be part of what I'm a part of. Someday, when I've moved on in my life, I don't want to look back thinking I took this all for granted. I want to look back knowing I took the time to appreciate it while it was all happening. California Guitar Trio. New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. Railroad Earth.

There are other events that give me a boost: pull me out of a rut, give me inspiration, make me think of our business in a different way - or in a way that had been buried by the day-to-day grind.

Tonight was one of those.

I've been battling a bad cold all week, trying to write a big grant, trying to manage the day-to-day, trying to think about the big funding request I have to write after I finish the grant, trying to think about the budget I have to put together after that (and all of this by the end of next week). Plus life outside of work. All in all, I was feeling pretty beat down this week. My writing was crap, my thoughts scattered, my energy abysmal.

Tonight, during Jason's set, I got more done with that grant than I got done all week. And while I'm sorry I missed seeing most of the show (although I did hear it), I think the energy at the theater tonight may have been just what I needed to set things back on track.

I also talked to two of the nicest guys I've met in a long time: Tyrone Wells, and Billy the Drummer. I talked to Tyrone backstage after his great performance opening for Jason. Evidently they trade off nights as headliner, depending on who has the bigger draw in that particular city. This being Jason's hometown, Tyrone took the stage first with his juicy pop anthems. He was super cool, laid back, humble, and good to talk to.

Billy the Drummer (Jason's drummer) was also the tour manager, so I got to settle the show with him. Probably the nicest guy I've ever settled with: talked about the tour, about Schuba's in Chicago (a mirror image of the Beat Kitchen), Kings of Leon (the power of those three words), Rogue Wave (great live band) and shenanigans with comp tickets in Boston (9+1 still equals 10, no matter who holds the 9).

So here are a few pictures from the night, below, along with a link to some more. If you're a fan of pop, acoustic singer-songwriter stuff, and big soaring melodies, I'd definitely recommend checking out both Jason Reeves and Tyrone Wells. I hope they'll be back soon, and I hope (as does Billy) that there will be a busting-at-the-seams sized audience that needs those "seven extra letters" on the marquee.


Tyrone Wells & band


Jason Reeves emerges from the dressing rooms.


Jason's setlist and bottle of water.


Drummers get all the chicks.
Billy with some of Jason's family.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeam!

I've always said that the loudest sound inside our theater is not a rock concert, not a hip hop show, not a sound effect of clapping thunder, or the thunderous applause after a stirring performance...

It's the sound of 700+ kids screaming at once during our school shows.

These are a little late getting up here, but last Friday we hosted nearly 800 kids for a daytime performance of Schoolhouse Rock. This little unedited video clip doesn't really do it justice, but let me tell you, my ears were ringing:


video

Check out a handful of pictures from that show, too.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I Ran

It was a few minutes into the third quarter last Saturday afternoon when I felt the faint buzz of my phone ringing in my pocket.

Eleven rows up on the 30 yard line, in the middle of a lively Hawkeyes/Badgers game, is not the best place to field a phone call. I pulled the phone out of my pocket and the caller ID said "Englert."

Sigh.

I always say (and mean) that anyone at work can call me anytime. Plus, this was a show day (matinee of Schoolhouse Rock), and I knew that that whoever was calling wouldn't be doing it unless they really needed to.

I answered and tried to hear Sarah, my head bent over between my knees (while the people all around me were standing, screaming, jingling keys, spilling food). I finally had to get up and squeeze past the others in the row to get outside the stadium so I could hear.

Technical problems. The kind you can't troubleshoot over the phone. The kind that won't let the box officers sell tickets to the afternoon's show. The kind that need immediate fixing.

Sigh.

I had no choice but to leave the game. Looking around for a cab, unless there was one sitting right there I knew I didn't have time to wait. It was after 1:00, and the show started at 2:00. Must sell tickets. Must fix problem.

So I ran. I think it was probably a mile, maybe less. Seems farther when I think about it, but judging by the time it took to get there in a sporadic run-walk-run-walk pattern (between 10 and 15 minutes), it was probably a mile.

Great day for a run, actually. Sunny. Cool. I hardly broke a sweat, dressed in a be-bold-wear-gold long-sleeved Hawkeye T-shirt and baseball hat, running down the spiral walk(run)way at the end of the Burlington bridge, jetting across the UI library grass... walking up the steeeeeeeeeep Washington Street hill.

I've never had to literally run to work before. But in this case, I didn't really have a choice. And I was glad I was actually within running distance and not out of town. I got there. I fixed the problem. I stayed to help sell tickets. I got text updates about our stomping of Wisconsin.

I broke the box office dress code. Shhhh.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tech Talk


It is very interesting how the performing arts has different lingo when talking about the same thing or the same word could have a totally different meaning.
What I mean is, in traditional theater when talking about the person who runs the sound board, they refer to them as the SBO (sound board operator), while in the concert world we refer to them as FOH engineer (Front-of-House). However, Front-of-House would usually refer to the House Manager in a theatre setting.

When theater people are talking about "effects" they are usually talking about sound effects that go through speakers on stage for sound cues like a gun shot. Sound designers will use these speakers so that shot sounds like it came from the same side of the stage as the performer. However, in the concert world "effects" are delay and reverb that is added to an instrument or vocal for more ambience or depth to the sound.

Monitors or fold back are used for the artist on stage to hear themselves, but when you say monitors to a non-musician, they would immediately think of let say a computer monitor.
When talking about lighting fixtures, theater refers to them as instruments. The actual bulbs are referred to as lamps.

What are some other confusing language differences?

Shane and Shane

I was extremely impressed with these guys. There were several people that told me that this was one of the best concert that they had been to.
They used an uncommon drum kit/percussion setup that gave the music a completely different sound. In fact, mixing these instruments was quite an exhilarating challenge as I had never heard them before. The kick was hand made by Joey their drummer and the snare and tom were Remo made. The loop technology that was used, made the sound even more complete.
The lights, sound and musicianship all came together for one great performance and delivered a great experience for those who attended.
A big THANK YOU to all the crew that made it happen.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Robert Cray & Kevin Burt photos

There was one point early on in Kevin Burt's set the other night, opening for Robert Cray, where I got all tingly.

Apparently I wasn't the only one, because as Kevin kept building and building and building momentum, channeling a growl not unlike B.B. King, finally reaching a feverish pitch and exploding into a quiet refrain, practically the whole audience burst into applause and whistles.

What an amazing performer, voice, songwriter and talent.

I didn't see the whole Robert Cray show because, frankly, I was exhausted and needed to catch some sleep. But from what I saw, they lit this place up.

Our awesome volunteer photographer, Todd Adamson, posted some great photos on his own blog, right here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Took the words out of my mouth...

Diana Nollen at the Gazette wrote a great review of the Dar Williams/Shawn Mullins show that described what I was trying to describe in the post below, only better:

"But an evening with East Coast folkie Dar Williams is like meeting up with a college pal every few years, catching up on the latest happenings, watching time melt away.


Every song is a story and every story sings, as she connects with her adoring fans. You almost forget 499 other people were listening, too, at The Englert Theatre, 221 E. Washington St."

Read the whole thing here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Apparently, you can't just stack people up in seats when they have the same tickets.

A word to the wise: you can't sell the same two seats to three different pairs of people. They get upset (and understandably so).

Another piece of advice: if you do, for some reason, sell two seats to three different pairs of people, do your best to make sure that it hasn't happened in the past to any of those people.

Sigh.

No transition is ever painless, and at tonight's Dar Williams/Shawn Mullins concert, the Great Ticketing Software Change of 2008 doled out the hurt yet again. It doesn't matter that 99% of things have gone smoothly (well, okay... maybe 95%). What matters is the 1% that has not.

It's our job to make sure everyone has a great experience at the Englert. I think, after a lot of quick problem-solving, talking, listening and hoping, that the three groups of people affected by tonight's little ticketing snafu all ended up happy and enjoyed the show. If you're reading this - thank you for being patient and understanding. You didn't have to be, so I appreciate it.

I only saw the end of one song the entire tonight, but I heard most of both sets from the box office. Wow! I'm not just saying this to say it - both Dar and Shawn sounded amazing. In addition to effortless singing and sharp songwriting, both of them interacted with the crowd as if they were all sitting around in the living room of their houses.

The show got over around 10:40, and when I left at 11:30, Dar and Shawn had been out in the lobby for a good 45 minutes, talking with a (still) pretty deep line of fans and signing autographs:











Thursday, September 18, 2008

Took the Railroad...



My Wednesday started at 8 AM with a radio interview out at KCJJ and ended Thursday morning at 12:30 by paying the band. In between I did so many things that by the time I got to my car Thursday morning, I felt like it was a different day than the one I had started.

Ignoring the obvious literal fact that it was actually a different day, running with me on the spirit and not the letter, I thought this must be like the schedule presidential candidates keep, day in and day out. Except a million times easier. No matter who you support, you gotta admire their endurance.

Anyway, the night ended with a great show by bluegrass/rock band Railroad Earth. I had heard their newest album, Amen Corner, a handful of times and thought that it was catchy and well-produced, but bluegrass isn't my "thing" as much as other genres. But their live show, as with all good bands, brought the songs to life in a much more powerful way. I loved it. They also brought their own light show, which totally transformed the space and made things look as good as they sounded.

I'm not a music critic or concert reviewer, so I'm not going to go down that path. But I will say that they were very tight, the crowd loved them, and they were easy to work with. Can't say that about everyone.

Check out some pictures here. Video coming soon...

Oh - and last night Beth had a great idea to start a new photo series on this blog: Confiscated Item of the Night! We'll kick things off with a bota and two flasks - one engraved from a prom night. Sounds like they had more fun at theirs than I did at mine...






Thursday, September 11, 2008

Englert Goes Clubbing

Finally the phones have stopped ringing and the window traffic has subsided enough to have time to post what I've been wanting to post all week long. (The King & I is this weekend, so last-minute ticket buyers are coming out in droves)

Last weekend's very first Alley Cabaret was a lot of fun, and a huge success.

I love the feeling before a show, or any kind of event, when you just know it's going to be cool. Walking around on stage at 11:30 PM last Friday night, 15 minutes before the doors opened, there was an unmistakable vibe that something cool was going to happen: small tables set up over most of the stage... a stage-within-a-stage erected at one end, set up with an accordian, piano, drumset, string bass and some microphones... a DJ up in the catwalk, bumping out some ambient electronica that makes me realize why that music gets most of its following through the after-dark club scene... streaks of light against the brick wall...

We opened the alley doors at 11:45 and within 5 minutes had already let in 80 people (5 over capacity). We actually had to turn away around 20 people.

Vocal trio Rock, Paper, Scissors sang old-school cabaret classics and original material alike, occasionally joined by sexy and spot-on choreographed dancing from students in the UI's dance department.

I was on stage for awhile, and then sneaked up to the balcony to get the bird's eye view. It just looked and sounded amazing. The whole evening was flawless: no security issues, no technical issues and everyone seemed to have a good time.

I'm looking forward to the next one, in a couple of weeks, where they're going to put on Edward Albee's The Zoo Story. I'm curious about how the vibe will change, as that play isn't quite the same "scene" as sexily-costumed women singing "The Boogie-Woogie Bugle Boy." The Zoo Story was also the first play I "produced" when I was an undergrad in college, way back in the day, and I haven't seen it since.

It's nice to see something experimental, that was just an idea a few months ago, work out and work so well. Kudos to everyone involved, especially Anthony, Brandon, everyone at the university, and our awesome technical staff.

Here are a few pics from last week:








Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Radio Free Bennigan's

I did Tommy Lang's radio show this morning out at Bennigan's, talking mostly about Second City but also about everything else that's going on right now... lots of shows because of the floods... big names this fall... fundraising... Bruce Willis...

Radio is always fun - it goes fast, the DJs on the other side of the conversation are always pros (literally, professional talkers), and it gives me a chance to elaborate on things that are normally confined to an ad or brochure.

Tommy's show was even better: there was a free meal involved. Now, unfortunately I wasn't able to take advantage because I had to be back at the theater for another meeting... but that's a pretty sweet deal: "come on our show, talk about what you want to talk about, and when you're done, help yourself to a Monte Cristo."

Thanks, Tommy and KCJJ.

On another note, things are picking up in the box office. Phones are ringing more, people are stopping by more... fall is officially underway. We're slowly but surely learning the new software, getting the routine down, getting more confident. Getting better.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Quentin Mark Chuck Tarantino Klosterman

It's pretty rare that I actually get to sit down like a real audience member and enjoy something in the theater, but I've been lucky enough to be able to twice within the last week: once for a viewing of Pond Hockey during the Landlocked Film Festival (cool movie, produced by my friend Andrew who runs the Little Village... I'm not even a hockey fan but I was drawn in)... and again last night to see Chuck Klosterman.

It was a standing-room-only kind of night, which are my favorite kinds of nights here. Sidewalk a-buzz. Lobby packed. Ushers down front waving one finger in the air, signifying one last available seat.

The picture above was snapped from my seat in the fifth row, from my Motorola RAZR cellphone (which has one of the lamest camera phones I've ever come across).

I've read half of one of his books: Sex, Drugs & Cocoa Puffs. I loved it, but I stopped reading it for no good reason other than I just don't make enough time to read. Based on the book, I expected Klosterman to be "too cool for school" - a little smarter than you and I, and not afraid to let you know.

Not at all the case. Very laid back, funny, natural, approachable and real. In fact, the way he described his approach to problems and other issues, he reminded me a lot of myself. Not that I'm nearly as witty or as good of a writer. I'm not. But I am almost his age...

I spent the rest of the night trying to place who he reminded me of: the sound of his voice, his mannersisms, the words he used.... hour after hour, racking my brain... it finally dawned on me around midnight:

Quentin Tarantino. He sounds exactly like Quentin Tarantino. Especially when Tarantino gets all geared up and enthusiastic, explaining some little semi-fascinating nugget of pop culture, flailing his arms about... Klosterman did a lot of flailing about. His commentary was thoughtful, funny and, most of all, humble.

Today at a lunch meeting, relaying the events of last night, I called him "Mark Klosterman," making me seem like such a knowledgable authority not only on pop culture, but on what's playing at the very theater I work at. Niiiiiiiiiiiice.

For another take on the evening, here's a review from The Daily Iowan.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Rock stars are everywhere.

We just went through a pretty big transition over here at the Englert:

all new ticketing software and (almost) all new box office staff, all basically happening the same weekend.

I've done a few software transitions in my days and this has been one of the smoothest. The peeps at Iowatix were great to work with, the software allows us to serve our customers better (for example, alllllllllllll of our tix are online now - not just a few rows) and the efficiencies this new system will create seem to outweigh any of the inevitable "pain" that accompanies such a major shift in The Way We Do Things. It's not perfect yet, but we'll get close.

Thanks, customers, for being patient.

We also brought on four new Box Officers (a term that doesn't seem to get old for me), and they've been wonderful: bright, energetic, eager to learn, helpful and service-minded. Stop by to see Ashley, Nicole, Roxy and Sarah, who have joined Bryan and our wonderful volunteers Tom and Andrea to make up the best box office staff anywhere in the land. Get to know them here.

We also just hired a bunch of great people to work in our Front Of House Services area who you'll get to know at the concessions table this fall.

The job description for both of those positions called for "rock stars," and I'm glad to say that our newbies don't disappoint.

Chuck Klosterman tonight... people have been stopping in asking about it all day. Starts at 8:30, doors open at 8, get here early. Repeat.

Just signed us up for Twitter, so you can follow us there: http://twitter.com/englert. I've been "tweeting" on my personal account for awhile now. Was skeptical at first, but am starting to realize the key: the more people who use it, the better it is.

Go technology.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Englert Night Out 2008

We had a wonderful time giving out our much deserved Impact Awards. Here are a couple highlight videos that were played during the event.


Englert Theatre-Montage Presentation 08' from Chris on Vimeo.


Englert Impact Awards 08' from Chris on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Mikey says "The Englert Rocks!"

If you have ever volunteered at The Englert Theatre, you may have met Michael Shonrock, our resident theatre baby. He is always happy to stop by the Englert, check out the artwork in the gallery, and find out about all the great new shows going on sale. (And I am sure his interest is in no way influenced by the fact his Mom, Sarah, serves as the House Manager for Englert events.)

If you want to find out more about volunteer opportunities at the Englert, please contact Nancy at nancy@englert.org. Who knows? You might get to hang out with Mikey!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Enjoyable

I can't always say that every artist and their managers that come to the Englert are approachable and friendly. However, Randy Newman and his manager Kathy were just that. I had the opportunity to spend some time with them and it was enjoyable. They were very easy to work with and Mr. Newman gave us great performances. I have to say that this was one of my favorite shows.

Chris Cary
Production Manager

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Englert Fundraiser Supported by over 50 Volunteers

After so many months of preparation, it was a little sad to set up the ladder outside the Englert yesterday and start taking down "Randy Newman." Yet, even as we removed those familiar letters, someone walking by called out to me, "I was there last night! What a wonderful concert!"

I couldn't agree more. The Gala Fundraiser that took place this past Monday and Tuesday not only brought together our community to see one of America's greatest singer-songwriters perform, but we also met and mingled at eight different receptions related to the show.

Now, as you may already know, the Englert does not have a large staff. So how on earth did we offer so many events in only two days? The answer: we NEVER could have pulled it off without the dedication of over 50 Englert volunteers.

Volunteers helped set up the receptions, serve food and drinks, greet patrons, hand out playbills, and keep everything running remarkably smoothly. I had the honor of working with many long term friends, and meeting new friends that until now I only knew through their email handle. What a thrill to see the amazing community support for this event!

Thank you to EVERYONE who took part as a volunteer, a patron, or a sponsor. It is an honor to be a part of this community.

-Nancy Mayfield
Marketing & Development Manager / Volunteer Coordinator
The Englert Theatre

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Flooded With Good Fortune

Nobody likes it when the police show up at their door at three in the morning.

For Beth Bewley-Randall, our executive director, the doorbell rang early in the morning on Saturday, April 8th. She had turned her phone off, so the police tracked her down at her house to tell her that the Englert had been flooded. Not as bad as the news could be from two uniformed gents at that time of day, but certainly worrisome nonetheless.

So, yes. A water pipe had burst outside near the street, in front of the Englert. Water poured under the doors into the lobby and proceeded to run down to the basement. By the time Beth got there (where she would stay for the next 8 hours), a couple of inches of water had managed to accumulate in our basement.

Luckily, the damage wasn't too severe: the structural integrity of the building wasn't compromised, the computer server and phone system was off the ground so remained untouched, and 95% of what was actually ruined turned out to be old boxes, papers, and other non-historic pieces of the building that needed to be thrown out anyway.

We sent a message to our volunteers, and several gave us boxes to help move things out. Others actually came and helped us Monday morning as we brought up load after load from the wet and dirty basement and threw it in the dumpster. All in all, it got cleaned up pretty quickly with everyone's help. A heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who helped out in some way.

We were able to continue as scheduled with Grease that weekend, and most performers and ticketholders probably didn't know that anything had even happened. We had pretty good fortune. It could have been a lot worse.

P.S. I would've blogged about this much sooner, but for some reason Blogger had this blog tagged as "spam," so it took them about a week to figure out that real legitimate people are actually running this thing...

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Princess Bride - why so late??

Astute Englert fans have noticed that our showing of The Princess Bride on March 27th starts at 9:00 - one hour later than our usual start time for most events. I've been surprised at the number of people who have asked me or other members of our team why this is. The official answer?

We want to see what happens.

Yep, we just want to try something different. I know the later time might make it harder for some of you to get here. Does that mean you won't come? I don't know. I know that a lot of you - especially college students - ask for events to start at 9 or later so you can get here after night classes. Will you come? I don't know. We'll find out.

The movie is only 98 minutes long, so you should still be home in time to catch the end of Letterman or Leno, or have enough time to get a seat at Joe's, Deadwood or wherever else you might hang out on a Thursday.

This is all part of a larger experiment called "what do we do with movies" - a sometimes overly complex combination of legalities, supply, market demand, pricing, concessions (food & drink) and other issues. I'll dive into some of the issues in a later post. In the meantime, enjoy our first movie of the year, one hour later than usual.