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Putting the Ellie Caulkins Opera House inside the historic Quigg Newton Auditorium was like building a ship inside a bottle. The auditorium -- a 1908 buff-colored brick building designed in a neoclassical style by Robert O. Willison -- had become run down over the years and had long since lost its historic interior. And that history was an illustrious one: Then known as the Municipal Auditorium, it hosted the Democratic National Convention in 1908 and later became the city's premier opera house. The inside was restored in 2002 with a gorgeous, neo-modern interior that’s all rich woods and shining glass and metal, and the 2,225-seat theater still hosts opera -- and comedians, ballet performances, songsters representing a variety of genres, and high-school graduation ceremonies.
Saw Leo Kottke last night, Jan 19, 2013. The half filled venue was lovely. The entertainment was not. We were very disappointed and left at intermission. The first half of the show was filled with ridiculous songs and dialogue that left me wondering if Mr. Kottke was ever going to play music that I paid my money to hear. He played a terrible song about wanting to "kill you on Christmas". I was expecting dead silence at the end of that song and was truly surprised when some people applauded. I wish I had left in the middle of that song. But I hung in hoping the performance would get better. It did not. Oh well, $100 bucks wasted. Not the end of the world, but the last time I will go see Mr. Kottke perform.
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It sounds trite, especially since the analogy was repeated over and over during the construction process, but putting the Ellie Caulkins Opera House inside the historic Quigg Newton Auditorium really was like building a ship in a bottle. The auditorium -- a 1908 buff-colored brick building designed in a neoclassical style by Robert O. Willison -- had become run-down over the years and had long since lost its historic interior. In 2002, voters approved a bond initiative to pay for a... More »
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