At Toronto’s legendary Massey Hall, a 21st-century renovation turns the lights back on

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After a retrofit that was several years in the making, the storied music venue reopens its doors with a string of sold-out shows by Massey’s unofficial mayor, veteran singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot

That’s the right attitude with which to approach a national historic site. From centre stage, the 2800-seat hall looks the same as ever: wooden orchestra seats with red upholstery, two balconies with some filigree, and then a ceiling decorated with Moorish arches. The newly uncovered stained-glass windows glimmer. All this is basically the way architect Sidney Badgley, working for the Methodist millionaire Hart Massey, imagined it in the 1890s.

The hall now has a dream logic. Climb up into the balconies, mounting the steep rake and ducking past the gold-painted steel columns, and you feel as affably cramped as ever. Then you open a big swinging door and another world – like an extra wing unpacked from your subsconscious – reveals itself. This is one of four glassed-in corridors, or “passerelles,” that hang on the outside of the old building.

The addition includes two new venues – a 100-seat theatre and a 500-seat club-style space with a stage whose backdrop is a picture window overlooking Old City Hall

Source: Entertainment Trends (entertainmenttrends.net)

 

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