SANTA MONICA, Calif., April 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --The Broad Stage, a world-class venue for performing arts and film, will unveil its new lobby, showcasing the creative convergence of fine culture, cuisine and comfort. Designed and furnished by leading modern home furnishings retailer Room & Board, and featuring delicious and unique local concessions from Taste of Pace, the tens of thousands of patrons who frequent The Broad Stage's acclaimed programs, performances and events are in for a treat.
Cutting edge and comfortable, The Broad Stage references classical theater while designing a vision for the future. The result is an intimate and dynamic transformation of the main lobby areas and the second floor lounge, which together with the venue's grand architecture and historically reverential elements—including its Italian "horseshoe"-inspired stage—creates a 21st Century theater experience. The stunning redesign complements The Broad Stage's already-impressive selection of top-shelf sound, lighting and video components, and now features a variety of comfortable seating options and social interaction opportunities that encourage audience engagement with one another and with the art form. Tables and chairs produce a cafe vibe, sofas and tables produce a living room-type atmosphere, and still space is left for outreach and cultural pop-up events that add to the lobby experience.
The official unveiling will take place Saturday, April 27 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in advance of the highly anticipated program, Paris Combo—a performance by the chic, Parisian cabaret group that has carved out a truly distinctive niche in contemporary jazz. The pre-performance event will include an opening reception, remarks by The Broad Stage's Director Dale Franzen and delectable bites from Taste of Pace.
Franzen, a frequent international traveler, decided to revamp The Broad Stage lobby after realizing the inadequacies of many theater lobby spaces around the world—often a lack of comfortable seating, insufficient space for conversation, bland furnishings, unhealthful and predictable snack options, and too many long restroom lines. Franzen sought to change all that with a thoughtfully and beautifully redesigned environment that emphasizes the importance of artistic vision, culture, comfortable and versatile seating, and delicious, healthy cuisine, complemented by The Broad Stage's plentiful and handsome restrooms.
"Lobbies are not just holding tanks for patrons before and after performances anymore, "Franzen explains. "They need to be more engaging and intriguing to bring our patrons together as a community, with their spirits raised, and their brains flexed. Our partners at Room & Board and Taste of Pace helped us to achieve just that."
Room & Board's reinterpretation of The Broad Stage's lobby and second floor lounge as a comfortable living room is not a theme, but a subtle and artistic re-design that inspires and emphasizes people coming together in a casual, welcoming setting to share stories, perform, engage and enjoy delicious cuisine and great company. This partnership furthers Room & Board's dedication to art, culture, comfort and design, while spotlighting the company's renowned support of American craftsmanship.
"Room & Board has long supported organizations that celebrate art and design," says Heather Neubauer, Room & Board retail market manager. "Both our brand and our customers appreciate the arts—in all its forms—so the relationship with The Broad Stage is a natural fit."
Inside The Broad Stage's redesigned main lobby, patrons will first notice three Holden Studio sofas, upholstered in Dakota fog—a textured, grey-toned fabric, from Room & Board's Holden collection. As backless sofas, each allows for comfortable patron seating on both sides. These sofas are positioned atop smoke-colored woven vinyl floor mats from Room & Board's Chilewich collection—designed by acclaimed New York City textile designer Sandy Chilewich. The window seats of the main lobby are topped with Sunbrella canvas cushions in coal, which add comfort and color to this additional seating space.
Natural steel-framed cocktail tables from Room & Board's Rand collection dot the main lobby, topped with beige quartz. Hand-carved fluted solid wood stools function as end tables or extra seating. Ravella leather ottomans from Room & Board's Ravella collection offer patrons another option for seating or can double as a table top for drinks.
The second floor lounge features the Chelsea sofa, upholstered in a natural linen-toned fabric. A subtle complement to the patterns and colors of The Broad Stage's bold graphic carpet, the Chelsea sofa is accented by pillows in velvet and mohair, and in the rich hues of tangerine and deep mossy green. Accommodating 360-degree seating—with its versatile components of ottomans and armless sofas—the Chelsea sofa allows for various configurations to suit each unique program, performance or event. The space is completed with cocktail tables made of stainless steel and Mesabi black granite, hand-carved fluted solid wood stools and Ravella leather ottomans.
Beautiful white orchids elegantly punctuate the main lobby and the second floor spaces so that the handcrafted, locally sourced cuisine and snacks from Taste of Pace can take center stage.
"We have brought in Pace as our concessionaire," says Franzen, "because we want to be the first theater in America to offer environmentally conscious, farm-to-table food from a chef who really cares—like we do—about our patrons. Who would have thought that going to the theater could be good for your health?"
Headed by executive chef Pace Webb, Los Angeles-based Taste of Pace will create unique, farm-to-table dishes with local ingredients. Her unique, seasonal cuisine will range from braised short rib and pickled ginger sandwiches to seasonal roasted vegetable salad with lemon aioli, and include cheese plates, cookie sandwiches, best-ever chocolate chip cookies and a selection of top French wines.
"This is like a homecoming for me," said Webb. "I grew up backstage at the heels of my mother, the acclaimed theater actress Annalee Jefferies. I was headed for the stage too, but when I was diagnosed with colon cancer at the age of only 17, my focus switched to food and what we put in and on our body. It is my pleasure to create for the patrons of The Broad Stage a completely new kind of theater concession: clean, healthy food with joie de vivre."
After five years of raising L.A.'s cultural pulse with risky new productions attracting critical acclaim, The Broad Stage's unveiling of the newly redesigned main lobby and second floor lounge comes on the heels of its announcement that The Broad Stage will break ground this year on a new East Wing to be designed by the DLR Group WWCOT and situated on the east side of the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center that will include a two-story, multi-use 165-seat Music Hall and rehearsal space, which will play a central part in Director Dale Franzen's vision for the next five years.
Visit The Broad Stage online at www.TheBroadStage.com.
Vanessa Butler, 213-446-0774
SOURCE The Broad Stage