The Roxy Rising from the Ashes
I toured the Roxy theatre site yesterday and the building, even as a shell of concrete, steel, wire, and the rumbling din of construction; it is a triumphant gift to the people of Edmonton, to all Alberta. Anyone who steps thru its doors, enters a world of wonder. With inviting portals, mingling areas, and corner bars; now dusty grey Portland, soon to be layered with hardwood, black walnut, tile and texture.
The buildings features include an intimate upper theatre, moving tiers of seats, walls that slide open, or fold; blinds that shade the rehearsal room and prep office from the street, yet act as a vid screen to reflect any performance back into the room and simultaneously into the street. Entrances and hallways, purposefully narrowed then widened just for the drama, the feel of stepping into something different.
Truly a place of dreams to come, grounded by set and construction areas, but entering the main stage is dropping into a 40 ft high star chamber, that encloses one like a warm beach towel. Above the audience and soon to be obscured, are rows of walkways and struts. A steel playground ready for sound, lights, action!
The stage is slit for trap doors, caves, and eerie entrances; and the walls, still only pen on paper, will step slightly in frame the scene, lure the eye to center stage and allow an actor to linger just off stage, till their moment.
At the top of the seats, the master control room. The space is a ship of dreams ready to sail.
But there is more; just as real theatre can light up your evening, with real moment engagement and experience; the tension of Live; the Gender neutral bathroom; may be the signature, the cherry on a delicious cake.
A private moment, to be sure but the communal wash basins, accessed from both sides; are designed like a slender infinity pool; the water rippling down and away from you, the drain unseen. Perfect round double sided mirrors, and hanging chandeliers.
Only in the Theatre.
The Roxy Rises.