It is not often one sees an invitation stating, “black tie optional,” and in Carson City, many will attest “black tie optional” means a better pair of jeans. But, on Feb. 12 we found women did, indeed, have beautiful gowns in their closets, and men looked quite dashing in their tux. Even a smattering of furs were seen gracing shoulders. The age of the attendees ranged from Millennials to older Boomers.
Those who love theater dressed beautifully to celebrate the grand re-opening of the Bob Boldrick Theater where so many have enjoyed fine productions over many years. Collie Hutter stated she spent many hours behind the stage as a stage mom and many hours in the audience watching the shows.
The theater had just undergone a complete remodel replacing the well-worn seats first installed in 1974, as well as a complete repainting of the entire interior along with new carpeting.
And, it all smelled and looked new and fresh.
It seemed to the Chamber that the unveiling of the remodeled theater warranted a ribbon cutting and grand re-opening celebration, thus approached Mayor Bob Crowell and Parks Director Jennifer Budge to coordinate the event. The request was granted and what was to be a simple reception turned into a major fundraising event, for what was not included in the theater remodel funding was the refresh of the outdated lobby.
Mayor Crowell commented, “The Carson City Chamber came to me less than two months ago and asked to put on a gala to re-dedicate the theater. I didn’t think they could pull it off in such a short time. It is obvious to me the community was ready for this gala.”
The community center was built in the late 1960’s -a time when governmental architecture was designed and constructed under the “Brutalist” movement (1951-1975) - featuring concrete and utilitarian designs. The lobby area reflects this movement and has been very utilitarian over the past 44 years. The goal was to soften the edges a bit to create a more welcoming space.
Community members and businesses rallied around to generously donate over $20,000 to the Parks and Recreation Foundation to begin the refresh, beginning with new lighting that was installed the day before the event, thanks to the electricians from Public Works. Stephanie Arrigotti considered the three new chandeliers, “absolutely gorgeous.”
Not included in the donation amount was the in-kind contributions from the ten participating local restaurants donating their culinary talents and champagne, beer, wine, coffee and water. While we can’t put a direct dollar amount on the in-kind contributions, we would think they amounted to well over $7,000.
Spearheaded by Chamber Chair Bob Fredlund, the five member committee created magic in less than 45 days to make this event a highlight of the winter season. Susie Messina served as chair and the ever-energetic Linda Marrone coordinated with the restaurants. Lisa Lee and Ronni Hannaman attended to the many other details including public relations and fund-raising efforts.
The finger foods were presented and served by the Carson High Culinary students and the beer and wine was served by Lee Conley of The Fox who was able to keep up with the demand. The champagne donated by Squeeze In was served by John Hoy in glasses provided by Silver Oak Golf. The Silver Strings graciously provided the reception entertainment.
There were many moving parts to make the gala a true success and would not have been possible without the great cooperation of our business community and our wonderful eateries.
The highlight of the evening came post the reception and ribbon cutting. A special performance was put together by Stephanie Arrigotti and her amazing cast from Western Nevada Musical Theater Company presenting tunes from past performances and the rousing finale from Mamma Mia!, their most recent production. At the end, the audience on their feet wanting more.
One would never have known that because of construction and the weather, putting together the show proved to be somewhat of a challenge. Arrigotti stated, “To be honest, this was a panic to put together. I’ve never put together a show with only two days in the theater for tech!” As a consummate professional, we knew Stephanie’s show would be excellent – and it was.
Parks Director Jennifer Budge stated, “We truly appreciate the overwhelming generosity and support from the Chamber of Commerce, the donors, and the community. Thanks to your efforts, the Bob Boldrick Theater will continue to be a source of community pride for generations to come.”
The theater was almost completely gutted and was remodeled in less than two months. The Dube Group Architecture of Reno was the project designer with K7 Construction, Inc., also of Reno, the contractor. The Carson City Public Works Staff were Brian Elder, Project Engineer; Dan Stucky, City Engineer; and Ron Reed, head of Facilities. The funding came from the Carson City Redevelopment Authority, Question 18 funding (Quality of Life) and Capital Improvement Funds.
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