BASIE ZOOMS IN ON REOPENING

BasiescaffoldAlmost totally obscured by scaffolding all summer, the view from the BasieCam this morning reveals a made-over performance space as it nears completion. (Click to enlarge)

Taking a major step in its against-the-clock interior renovation project, workers at the Count Basie Theatre last week removed the floor-to-ceiling scaffolding that had filled the venerable space all summer.

The move was one of the last major tasks prior to the 82-year-old theater’s reopening on October 30 with the ‘California ‘Dreamin’-themed show by the Jersey Shore Rock-n-Soul Revue.

The pace of the work has surprised even those involved in overseeing it, much as it would anyone who’s ever done so much as a kitchen remodeling.

“We were in a meeting today, and we’re looking at each other saying, ‘Is this really on schedule?'” Basie spokeswoman Diana St. John tells redbankgreen.

As recorded by the BasieCam, which takes an update still image of the theater every 15 minutes, the removal revealed the astonishing sky-blue and gold-leaf accented ceiling dome that that had been in such awful shape in recent years that a safety net had been hung below it to catch falling bits of plaster.

The $8 million gut job kicked off on June 30, about 36 hours after a concert by the Fab Faux. On the agenda: replacing crumbling plaster walls and decorative moldings; a spiffy new paint job; and a lobby expansion project to add concession counters.

The theater has a documentary film in the works about the makeover. A preview trailer is here.

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