With less than a month until opening night, paintbrushes and canisters full of yellow paint were strewn on paint-speckled paper taped to the floor in the NorShor Theatre’s offices Sunday.
The final touches of the renovated downtown Duluth theater, which first opened as the Orpheum Theater in 1910, are starting to come together. The electricity is on, the theater seats are installed, the skywalk connection is nearly complete, painting is wrapping up and rehearsals for the upcoming musical Mamma Mia! are set to begin on the stage next week.
“The seats went in, like, overnight. I was here one day and there were no seats and then today was my first time walking out on stage and seeing those seats. I almost cried, it was so incredible. It was just awesome,” said Shad Olsen, an administrative staff member and resident actor with the Duluth Playhouse.
The Playhouse’s production of Mamma Mia! will be the first to premiere at the renovated theater when it opens Feb. 1.
Eight paint parties have taken place, with volunteers painting the second-floor offices as well as the rehearsal spaces on the third floor. The final paint party was underway Sunday afternoon as about a dozen volunteers coated the office walls in yellow. The paint parties, which were open to anyone who wants to help, have attracted a mix of people involved with the Playhouse in addition to people who are just interested in seeing the space, Olsen said. There are still a few more opportunities for people to help — namely hanging lights and mirrors.
The remodel began more than a year ago and at the start of it, the building looked “creepy, dark and run down,” Olsen said. “To walk in now and find it so elegant has been a treat.”
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This article was written by Lisa Kaczke and originally appeared in the Duluth News Tribune on January 7, 2018.
GET TICKETS TO MAMMA MIA WHILE THEY LAST!
When: February 1-18, 2018
Where:NorShor Theatre (211 E. Superior St., Duluth, MN 55802
Showtimes: Thursday-Saturday @ 7:30pm, Saturday & Sunday @ 2:00pm
Prices: Opening Night: $125/person | Other Performances: Adults – $30-$50, Students – $25
Purchase: Online at duluthplayhouse.org or norshortheatre.com/tickets. For the Opening Night Gala, you must call 218.733.7555.