I’m in Tampa for the NETA meeting. Warm Tampa, a far cry from very cold Michigan.
If you want to know exactly how I got here (from the delayed flights to the evangelist cab driver), stop by Chopsticks and String, where I tell the whole story (moments of which are amusing. Now. Not at the time.).
Although I missed our sessions today, the opening reception was at the historic Tampa Theatre. To give you an idea on how big a deal this theatre is, before I learned I was coming here, my theatre historian friend Suzanne said, “If they let you out of the hotel, you have to go to the Tampa Theatre.”
When I found out I was going, she sent me this. (Suzanne is writing a book with theatre historian-guru David Naylor on classic theatres.)
“The theatre is unadulterated John Eberson (big-deal theatre designing dude in the 20s), complete with the requisite parrot in the lobby.
He described the inspirations for his style to the Tampa Tribune on the theatre’s opening day in 1926:
“My idea for the atmospheric theater was born in Florida. I saw the value of putting nature to work and so have borrowed the color and design that are found in the flowers and the trees. The inhabitants of Spain and southern Italy live under the sun and enjoy the happiness nature affords them. So, I decided their architecture probably would provide the firm foundation for a theater.”
Atmospheric theatres tend to bring the outdoors in – and in the Tampa, you can see it through the starlit deep blue sky and the facades that look like an old Italian or Spanish building, with cherubs and statues.
The statues are everywhere --
Even in the water fountains (I hate that I framed this photo so badly!)
Even I look better in this environment!
The tile is fabulous, as you can see on the stairs.
A fabulous proscenium arch.
Stained glass elements are in the balcony.
As you look to the stage (oh, a fabulous organ and jazz band), you take it all in. And it is breathtaking.
And don't forget to look up!
It was a wonderful way to end a frantic day. As I said, you can find out more about that on Chopsticks and String.
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