Strange Brouhaha

Saturday, January 29, 2005

More Gripes about the Boondoggle Center

I've written before about how I feel about Jerry Frautschi's Arts Boondoggle, also known as the Overture Center for blah blah blah blah.

The Civic Center (R.I.P.) had a weekend series for kids called "Kids in the Crossroads," the crossroads in question being a small performance space in the atrium of the Civic Center where they would hold free shows. They would put on little plays, or have a singer perform, or a storyteller. It was always insanely popular, and was never less than really crowded, even on super-cold days after snowstorms. People would sit on the stairs and crowd the atrium. When they build The Boondoggle, there was a promise of a purpose-built space for the series.

They delivered, alright. They delivered a nice little mini amphitheater under the rotunda. It's actually pretty nice, and a reasonable space for a small show.

Notice the words "little" and "mini?" Used apurpose, I assure you, for the space is still too small. People sit on the stairs and crowd the space, and jam in around the balcony. Did they never pay attention to how crowded the events ALWAYS were?

To make matters worse, there is exactly ONE way to reach the space, and that's down a relatively narrow spiral staircase. (There is an elevator, big enough for a few people.) I think that's my biggest gripe about the Boondoggle in general: you can't get into the damn thing, assuming you want to. Imagine trying to jam hundreds of people into a tiny performance space down a single staircase, then getting them out again. What were they thinking?

I really hate this building. Really really really really. I promised Savannah I would remain calm the next time we go to a show there, and I will...but I hate it. They could have done a lot better for over two hundred million dollars.


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