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Center for the Performing Arts guessing game

Who will the Palladium pull in?

May 18, 2010

Advertisements are currently building excitement for the Center for the Performing Arts's opening week, scheduled for Jan 22-30, 2011.

But specifics won't be announced as to what exactly will be happening in the Center's centerpiece, the Palladium, until June 6. Then, a press briefing featuring the Carmel facility's Executive Director Steven B. Libman, its Artistic Director Michael Feinstein, the Palladium Architect David M. Schwarz and Carml mayor James Brainard will include specifics for that week.

The rest of the season isn't set to announce until Fall.

Frankly, apart from the assumption that the January events will primarily be happening indoors (It is January, after all, and this is still Indiana), I don't have a clue right now what that opening week will include.

I can blindly speculate, however, that these will probably feature:

1. A big star with an equally big ticket price.

2. Some free or low-cost events that will welcome in a larger slice of the community.

3. Acts without high risk of offending anyone.

Again, this is all speculation. But speculation on what will be happening in Carmel in January is, right now, one of the most popular games on the Indy arts scene.

So join in.

The questions:

What performer or group do you think would be a big enough draw to generate excitement for such a new facility?

Does it take a superstar on the level of Barbra Streisand or Bette Midler--someone who hasn't been seen in this market in a long time? (And would Streisand's politics rule her out?)

Will and should the Palladium take its first step with a classical or operatic star (Placido Domingo, anyone?), Broadway legends (Hello, Barbara Cook), or hot-ticket performer with younger appeal (Idina Menzel has been touring and hasn't played here yet)?

Will acts already playing in the market this year be ruled out? (I'm looking at you, Michael Buble.)

Perhaps I'm putting too much stock in Michael Feinstein's "Great American Songbook" tendencies. Perhaps the Palladium will rock out with someone on the order of Sting. How much would audiences pay for an acoustic set from Bono?

Or will our new concert hall simply use the opening weekend to celebrate the many performing arts groups that will be a permanent part of the facility?

Some of the speculation will end on June 6. In the meantime, chime in with your ideas on what will/should happen on the new stage.

Your thoughts?

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