8th Floor - HCA

Tonight, after a Mental Health Minnesota meeting, I took my 9-year old date (and her stuffed dog, which looks real and surprised quite a few people) to downtown Minneapolis to attend the opening night of a client's show. (The show, by the way, is Rhythmically Speaking and it's pretty great — runs through Sunday, highly recommended.)

The show was at the Illusion Theater, located on the 8th floor of Hennepin Center for the Arts. Which is a place I know inherently, in every fiber of my being, because it's where I started working in theatre over half a lifetime ago when it was the Cricket Theatre.

It's the place where Jay taught me to add cinnamon to the coffee urn and to never chew ice over the intercom. Where Shirley and Camille had a bottle of champagne delivered to their dressing room on Sunday nights written into their contract, and where they taught me to appreciate it (I miss you, Camille). Where I hauled rapidly growing puppy TC from the Time and Chance set every night for 6 weeks when he was handed off to me (and my how he grew during that period), and once a flaming waste bin from the stage of Quartermaine's Terms when cigarettes were still allowed onstage. Where Lou and Sean demonstrated artistic leadership, and I fell in love with technical theatre. Where I met Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin, and a score of others.

Where Kristian taught me about creating costumes and where I wrote my first successful grant. Where I was in charge of picking potential new plays. Where I learned about running a theatre because they were broke, and I was young, and would do it.

Where I say my first Sam Shepard play (Fool for Love, natch). Where I saw Cyrano and The Nightingale and several Jeune Lune shows before they had a space. Where Marisha Chamberlain's premiere of Scheherazade with Peter Moore left me in tears.

Where after work I would walk fearlessly down Block E to catch my bus home, without any hassle because the people who worked on that block would look out for people. Where I would sometimes catch a movie at the Skyway (like Stop Making Sense) before heading home, or buy a magazine at Shinders, or get lunch at Black's, or stop at an art gallery because it was still the gallery district and Friday nights were filled with openings. Where downtown was still downtown with shopping and a food court and a bank I could walk to.

I tried to express all that to Beatrix as we looked out over the (massively changed) skyline and at the sunset tonight — it's still a beautiful view. I'm not sure she got it. But she gets going to shows and having that be part of her blood, and that's a good start.


Lisa said…
I really like this blog! thank you.

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