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VENUE NEWS: Denver Theaters Get New GMs & Everett Events Center Design Flaw Could Cost $100,000 (more news)

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Rob Thomas, former general manager of the Fox Theatre in Boulder, is the new GM of the Fillmore in Denver. He joined in mid-August and was at the Fox for the past five years.

John Caprio, formerly Fox Theatre’s assistant manager, is now the new GM. – Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner

Everett Events Center Design Flaw Could Cost $100,000

WASHINGTON (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — According to the Daily Herald, building officials at the Everett Events Center are speaking with the arena’s designer about an apparent design flaw in the one year old venue.

The problem is a result of the placement of an air conditioning, heating and ventilation duct that interferes with performs ability to hang such equipment as lights, props and speakers from the steel supports above.

Public Facilities Board President Earl Dutton stated, "My personal opinion is that it's a design flaw. They were the experts, we weren't. To talk about stage rigging – stage rigging? I know what that means, but I don't know what it takes. Those people are the experts and they should have known."

The design and construction of the Everett Center was a cooperative effort between LMN Architects of Seattle and PCL Construction Services of Bellevue.

"We are continuing to work with PFD and we're confident that we will work out a solution," said Ed Olsgard, district manager of PCL's Pacific Northwest district office. "Obviously a lot of discussions take place during design. I think there were discussions that involved some rigging."

"This is kind of the nature of construction," he added. "It's just one of those things."

About $235,000 remains in an account set up by the public facilities district for post-construction modifications, however, this money was originally expected to be spent on more seats for the community ice rink or a tighter security system for the building. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers

SMG To Run Genesee Theatre

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — SMG has been retained by the city council of Waukegan, IL to run the Genesee Theatre, a former vaudeville and movie theater. The projected reopening is set for December 25, according to Brian Kabatznick, vice president of SMG. According to the Chicago Tribune, SMG has a three year contract and will be paid $10,000 a month through May 1 and $9,000 a month the following two years. An executive director hired by SMG will manage the theater.

Kabatznick told the paper that entertainment at the Genesee would be booked based on what the community wants. SMG has relationships with companies such as Clear Channel Entertainment, Jam Productions and House of Blues. The Genesee opening is behind schedule and over budget. Renovation of the theater began in 2001. — Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen

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Dodger Stages Opens In New York

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Off-Broadway theaters have been popping up in New York lately, and one of the most ambitious is the new $23 million, five theater Dodger Stages on 50th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues at the subterranean site of the old discount movie house Worldwide Plaza. Dodger Stage Holding, one of Broadway's biggest producing companies, operates the theatrical complex. The two largest venues have a 499-person capacity while the smallest seats 199 and the other two have a 360 capacity.

The complex has ample air-conditioning, big dressing rooms, three bars and ''more women's bathrooms than you'll find in any space like this,'' the owners told the New York Times.

The $23 million cost was shared by Dodger and its partners, Stage Holding, the Dutch company run by Joop van den End. Dodgers' principals are Michael Davis, president, Jujamcyn Theater head Rocco Landesman, LaJolla Playhouse artistic director Des McAnuff and Robin de Levita, of the Netherlands' Endemol Theater Productions.

The complex opened with 20 concerts by Mandy Patinkin, a Dodger client. Theatrical plays, Bare, The Immigrant and Basil Twist's Symphonie Fantastique, are also lined up for Dodger Stages. –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen

$200 Million Nassau Coliseum Makeover Proposed

UNIONDALE, NY (AP) The co-owner of the New York Islanders has unveiled an ambitious $200 million plan to renovate the Nassau Coliseum and construct a mixed-use complex that would include a 60-story hotel and condominium tower.

The plan is being developed by Charles Wang, the multimillionaire who is also the founder of the Computer Associates software company in Islandia, Long Island. The proposal would require approval from Nassau County, which owns the coliseum and the land, and the Town of Hempstead.

The centerpiece of the proposed complex, on 70 acres next to the coliseum, would be the 60-story tower, to be called the Great Lighthouse, with a 10,000 square foot observation deck. Long Island's tallest building is currently the 19-story Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow.

The complex also would include a five star hotel, luxury condominiums, rental apartments, a 500-seat amphitheater, two skating rinks, basketball and volleyball courts, offices, restaurants, shops, an exhibition hall and a center to help athletes improve their performance.

The complex would be the second phase of the proposed plan. Nassau Coliseum would be updated first, its seating capacity expanded to 17,500 from 16,300 and 50 new luxury boxes added by 2009.

LaBelle Helps Reopen Arts Center

ENGLEWOOD, NJ (AP) — Soul diva Patti LaBelle ushered in a "new day" for a reopened performing arts center in Bergen County.

LaBelle started her show Saturday night with the gospel song "It's a New Day" for the first official concert at BergenPAC.

The formerly named John Harms Center for the Performing Arts, located in downtown Englewood, closed in April 2003 after it could not repay $2.3 million borrowed for renovations. Jazz guitarist and Englewood resident George Benson was among members of the Bergen arts community who pleaded with the county to help save the center.

"You have two choices, to make a positive or negative," LaBelle told the sellout crowd of 1,400 people.

County officials approved the issuance of $1.9 million in bonds to help revive the arts center, to be paid off with future concert revenues. The center also plans a $15 million capital and endowment drive.

Coventry Recovering From Phish Fest

COVENTRY, VT (AP) — A small town that became Vermont’s largest city for a weekend is still debating whether hosting the jam band Phish’s final concert was a good idea.

“There were a lot of life-changing experiences in Coventry,” Selectboard Chairman Mike Marcotte said, reflecting on the festival that rocked the town nearly two months ago. “Those were experiences for the fans and the people in this area. It will be talked about here for some time.”

A “Welcome Phish fans” sign still hangs outside Royer’s Service Station in the center of town, and the freezer in the store still has a disproportionate amount of Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food ice cream.

Life is slowly returning to normal in the town of 1,014 residents.

Many residents went away from the concert, which drew about 70,000 fans, with a positive experience, but whether the town would ever want to repeat the experience is a matter of debate.

Marcotte said the Selectboard is hearing adamant opinions on both sides of the issue. On Town Meeting Day the Selectboard will ask residents if they’d like to see a law drawn up that would give residents more control over who could take over their town for a big event.

When Phish, and their concert producers Great Northeast Productions, approached the town, there was little if anything the Selectboard could do to stop the company from hosting the concert. Permission came from agencies within the state and federal governments. Few towns in the Northeast Kingdom have any type of law that would allow control over huge gatherings.

State Police Maj. James Dimmick said he will be lobbying statewide for a change in the law. The law seems to encourage large gatherings, Dimmick said. That’s fine, he said, but there should be a way to define what type of event can happen where.

The way the law is written, it’s nearly impossible to deny a permit request, he said.

“The threshold for denial is fairly high,” Dimmick said. “Basically, it says you have to have a substantial problem with public safety. And even then, you have to put conditions on the permit, not deny it.”

The biggest glitch was the weather: Heavy rains turned the concert grounds into a soupy quagmire. Thousands of fans who had tickets were told they couldn’t drive to the site because parking areas had become impassable. Many ended up parking on the shoulder of Interstate 91 and walking the last several miles.

Dimmick said if a similar application came forward now, he would fight hard to keep such hoopla out of a place like Coventry. “The infrastructure doesn’t support it,” he said.

Neil McMullin New GM Of Ikon Center

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Neil McMullin is the new general manager of the Ikon Center, 2,000-seat, multi-purpose Global Spectrum facility in Cheyenne, WY. McMullin previously worked as a technician and house manager at the Meydenbauer Convention Center in Bellevue, WA, as well as the Carco Theater in Renton, WA. –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen

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City Reserve Cash Likely To Pay For RFK Fix-Up

WASHINGTON (AP) — Work on RFK Stadium is likely to get under way before the D.C. Council approves legislation to financing the new ballpark.

D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission Chairman Mark Tuohey says the $13 million needed to get RFK ready for an April 15th season opener will be borrowed from city reserves. Some of the money will be used to improve dugout, locker room and media facilities.

The Montreal Expos are expected to play at RFK until a new stadium near the Washington Navy Yard is ready in 2008.

Bomb Threat Cancels Band Competition At RFK

WASHINGTON (AP) — Organizers of a school band competition say they'll try to reschedule the event after it was canceled Sunday because of a bomb threat at RFK Stadium.

About 20,000-people were cleared out of the stadium and the Battle of the Bands was called off while police responded to the threat. A police bomb squad combed the stadium but found nothing wrong.

D.C. Fire and EMS spokesman Alan Etter says the evacuation was fairly orderly.

Only three of the high school and college marching units from D.C. and Maryland had performed when the evacuation order was given at about 5 p.m. Many of the bands gave impromptu performances in the parking lot.

RFK was once the home of the Washington Redskins and is slated to house Washington's new Major League Baseball team for at least three years.

Proposed Amphitheatre For Scott County Scrapped

SHAKOPEE, MN (AP) — A proposed amphitheater for Scott County has been

Q-Prime Incorporated has agreed to pay the county $25,000 to cover the
costs of environmental studies. And it will drop any further legal
challenges over the county's decision to deny its request to build a
19,000 seat venue near Jordan.

In June, the County Board unanimously rejected Q-Prime's amphitheater
plan, citing traffic, noise and quality-of-life issues. That decision
was expected to spur new legal challenges from Q-Prime.

The settlement adopted yesterday is expected to end the controversy.