Entertainment

STAGE IS SET: Massey Hall gets gussied up for its Thursday reopening


Article content

The “house of Gord” appears ready for the return of Gordon Lightfoot judging from a media tour of Toronto’s Massey Hall on Wednesday night after three years, four months of renovations with a total price tag of $184 million.

Advertisement

Article content

Dozens of reporters and camera people were on hand as Massey Hall CEO Jesse Kumagai did a countdown on the street to the relighting of the hallowed hall’s outdoor sign dating back to 1894 before a media tour of the recent facelift of the much-beloved live performance venue.

Construction workers were busy inside hammering, drilling and putting the final touches on the hall with Lightfoot set to make his return with a trio of shows in less than 24 hours starting Thursday night.

“We could have postponed but the reality is the important things are all going to be in place,” Kumagai told The Toronto Sun .

“We’re going to have Gordon Lightfoot on stage at Massey Hall. We’re going to have an audience in the seats. People will have a beer in hand. There’s going to be great music happening. And to us, that’s what’s really important. There’s probably going to be a few things around where we wish we had another week or so to get it done but they’re the superficial things that will get fixed in due course. I don’t think there’s anything that could knock Gordon or us off this path.”

Advertisement

Article content

The stage is all set for Gordon Lightfoot re open Massey Hall on Thursday night with a trio of shows after over three years of renovations. JANE STEVENSON/TORONTO SUN
The stage is all set for Gordon Lightfoot re open Massey Hall on Thursday night with a trio of shows after over three years of renovations. JANE STEVENSON/TORONTO SUN

Most noticeable at the 2,550-seat venue are the fresh new red seats. They’re wider, more comfortable and with more legroom than the old wooden ones, with 470 on the floor removable to allow for 750 general admission standing when the act calls for it.

The seats on the second- and third-floor balconies will stay put.

There’s also been washrooms and bars installed on every floor — patrons used to have to high-tail it to the basement — and hallways made out of passarelles attached to the building.

Massey Hall has replaced all of its seating with new ones that are wider, with more leg room and more comfortable. JANE STEVENSON/TORONTO SUN
Massey Hall has replaced all of its seating with new ones that are wider, with more leg room and more comfortable. JANE STEVENSON/TORONTO SUN

Massey Hall’s original gorgeous stained-glass windows have also been restored and represent the largest collection of stained glass in Canada outside of a church setting.

“I think (concertgoers) are going to see a Massey Hall that they remember and cherish and feel like it’s been treated, really, really well and looks spectacular,” said Kumagai.

Advertisement

Article content

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

“But I also think they’re going to have a much more pleasant experience while they are here. Just all of the comforts, the accessibility has been dramatically improved, throughout the entire building.”

Massey Hall shows will also be able to be filmed, recorded and broadcast.

Still to come is the Deane Cameron Recording Studio, named for the former CEO of Massey/Roy Thomson Hall (and EMI Music Canada), on the seventh floor of the south tower, which will open next June, along with a separate performance room on the fourth floor that will hold 500 people.

Advertisement

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *