Glendale Centre Theatre, Glendale

The Glendale Centre Theatre was one of the most unique places I’ve ever been in the city of Glendale. Just when you thought you couldn’t be surprised with the mall, the restaurants, and the BMWs, this gorgeous treasure illuminates you with a rare kind of stage among the rest in LA County: theatre-in-the-round.

For those who aren’t familiar with traditional theatre, the typical stage are “window” style. There, you sit before a level, feets above the seats, and we all enjoy the show ever changing behind a curtain and actors entering from the left and right. A theatre-in-the-round, is placed within the middle of the theatre, where all of the exits and entrances are tucked between the seats, and if you’re lucky, from a trap door below the stage, and a rope from above. Simply said, it’s tricky.

And I had the pleasure of watching, for the first time: Pygmalion. It was delightful! The actors, the directing, the levels, acoustics, and the ambience was just supreme. I’ve never left a theatre so satisfied. Returning was all I could ask for, on my first show at the Centre Theatre.

I hate hearing, ” You had to be there”, but please hear me out: You’ll never find it. Even if you did, you wouldn’t even recognize it. This theatre looks like it came our a Dickens novel, with it’s old glorious lawn and gardens replaced with the streets and pavement of the city. Its bricks wear out every year, and all the color’s restored the next. I’m never sure if it’s just my imagination, but the building always looks like it revives in youth after every winter. Entering by staircase, or wheel chair access, when one reaches the door, you feel as though you are to expect a law office or be greeted by an over glorified florist. But no. When I came, on my first visit, it was a charming lady, jumping to get my ticket. The box office was humble in size – architecture seemingly stuck in the between the end of the Victorian fashion and in the beginning of the Flapper’s. In fact, I thought I was at a speakeasy! The room was dim with 1920’s chandeliers, the bar was filled with programs of the current Play, and the doors made you doubt that time had stopped just for the night. But then, the stage made you believe.

Take me for a fool, but I know what saw, and what I experienced was magical. Not of the superstitious kind, of course. But inspiring nevertheless. Bring a date here, if not, your mother. The charm of the venue is in the liveliness of the show. And may I say, there is much to be seen in this theatre.

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