Thursday, June 28, 2018

Backstage at Massey Hall

Cal Woodruff is an old friend of Bill and me. He's also the Front of House Manager at Massey Hall.
Today he invited us to tour the empty theatre. He thought we might find it a good subject for pictures. 
Massey Hall is about to close for a two year renovation. Gordon Lightfoot will be the theatre's final act in its current incarnation.
In the lobby, Cal filled us in on the history of the theatre. Two more friends joined us. We are about to see the theatre up close at the end of its first golden age.  
Cal took us to the very top of the theatre, at the top of the stairs at the back of the second balcony. He told us that the Moorish arches are a conscious reference to the design of the famous Alhambra in Granada.
The intimacy of Massey Hall has been justly praised throughout its history.
 The tour continued backstage. We passed some back-up lighting equipment.
 And went up into an area just above the stage. Bill tried to get some pictures of the scaffolding but there was just not enough light.
There was enough light to show the lovely texture of the old theatre.
 We took the stairs to the first balcony. 
What a gorgeous theatre.
 We enjoyed a performance by Mavis Staples last week from just about this angle.
 Then Cal took us out onto the famous stage. In Canada this place is sacred ground.
Note again the Moorish arches above the second balcony. 
 Tomatoes From Canada at work.
 We passed through the second floor bar. Once a gentlemen's smoking room.
 Then we went down to the basement to the modest dressing rooms.
Arrows to help the performers orient themselves backstage.
 Stairs if you want to walk onstage from "stage left".
 Bill found this poster from his first Massey Hall concert (1960s). He remembers the colourful audience decked out in Indian attire.
Tomatoes From Canada appreciate the hospitality we were shown today. Thanks Cal!


  1. Excellent backstage tour.
    Really glad you had that chance.

  2. Agreed, Lisa. So sweet of Cal to invite us. Very cool to stand on that stage!