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Carnival Center Media Day - From the Nosebleed Section to Center Stage

September 23, 2006 By Michelle in Miami: Local News

Above: snooping around the Knight Concert Hall from the nosebleed section to center stage. Media Day Sept. 22, 2006. Carnival Center for the Performing Arts. The opening has been a much anticipated event as construction took longer than expected. I am happy to say, after touring the facilities, the Carnival Center was well worth the wait. Visually speaking, the Performing Arts Center is a masterpiece.

The complex consists of 3 main performance spaces: the Knight Concert Hall, Ziff Ballet Opera House, and the Studio Theater. Each has its own unique feel. It was amazing to be in brand new buildings of this magnitude here in Miami; everything felt so refreshing and clean.

When we arrived, were warmly greeted and told, “today was our day, snoop around, nothing was off limits”. Wow, you don’t hear that too often, this was going to be exciting. While taking notes, I was welcomed by Suzette Espinosa, the Center’s publicist. She put a great packet together with tons of information about the Center and the upcoming season.

Season highlights:

Kathy Griffin –  10/15/06
Alice by Whoopi Goldberg –  10/15/06
The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial – 10/23/06
Randy Newman – 10/26/06
Once Upon a Time in Miami – 11/19/06
Olivia Newton John – 12/02/06
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels – 12/05/06
George Carlin – 12/10/06
White Men with Weapons – 12/16/06
Chita Rivera: The Dancers Life – 1/02/07 to 1/07/07
Classical Theatre of Harlem’s King Lear – 1/15/07
Barabra Cook 3/29/07
Bill Cosby - 3/31/07
Bobby McFerrin - 2/10/07
Burt Bacharach - 4/11/07
Wicked - 5/14/07 to 5/25/07
Twelve Angry Men - 5/15/07 to 5/21/07
We started our snooping inside the Knight Concert Hall; a beautiful, modern space with the look and feel of a traditional Japanese kabuki theatre. The seats, floors, balconies, and ceiling are made with a light blonde wood, and the velvet seat cushions are a light salmon color. I thought it was interesting to see 3 different types of seating inside the concert hall: regular theater-style seats, seats with movable arms, and couch-like seating that surrounds the entire stage. The concert hall seats 2,200 people. 

The canopy above the stage is where most of the stage lighting is. The lighting canopy consists of 3 platforms set inside a spiral shell. I was told by a volunteer that when each platform moves, it not only changes the lighting, it also changes the acoustics of the room.

We walked accross the bridge that connects the two theaters to have a look inside the Ziff Ballet Opera House. The first thing I noticed as I entered the lobby was the calmness and coolness of the large white room, matched with the smoothness of the terrazzo-like floors; the lobby is a site to see.

I didn’t know what to expect as I opened the doors of the Opera House theater as I just left a bright, white, airy lobby. I was suprised by the dramatic color scheme. The room is comprised of 6 levels of dark teak wood balconies, beige walls, and pale green velvet seat cushions. The grand drape is a rich brown and red tapistry of colors, reminding me of Disney’s Animal Kingdom motif.  We peeked backstage and I was amazed at how enormous it was. The Opera House seats 2,400 people.

Just outside the Studio Theater, we stumbled upon an interesting mosaic tile mural. The theater will be a flexible black-box space that will seat up to 200.

In addition to the three main theaters, the Center also has several event spaces for groups from 15 to 850. This is great because meeting space is somthing Miami has been lacking.
The Carnival Center also houses an 8,200 square foot (761 square meters) Peacock Education Center that will be used for workshops and classroom space.

All this snooping was making me hungry so we headed backstage toward the Green Room where lunch was to be served. On our way, we passed the dressing rooms, offices, and catering kitchens. The kitchens and bars are stocked; ready for business. When we got to the Green Room, the Center had put together a wonderful spread of gourmet sandwiches, salad, chips, and chocolate cake.

After walking around the Center, I can understand why there have been construction delays. No expense was spared when it came to building Miami’s Performing Arts Center. The lighting, acoustics, seats, front of the house, backstage facilities - everything is first class.

I’m excited the Performing Arts Center is here. I’m sure it will be a big success, attracting first class productions and visitors from around the world.

It would be great to offer the general public a daily tour of the facilities. There are many residents and visitors who would be interested to see the Carnival Center theatres up close. I’ll ask Suzette and see what she says.

Click Here to See Carnival Center Pics.

Contact info
Carnival Center for the Performing Arts
1300 Biscayne Blvd. Miami, FL 33132 (Map) (Tickets)  (Seating Chart)

Box Office: (305) 949-6722
Office Phone: (786) 468-2000

Related Categories: Miami: Local News,

Michelle Moore is the Miami tours and transportation expert who founded Miami Beach 411. To schedule service, book online or call Michelle at (305) 754-2206.

See more articles by Michelle.

See more articles by Michelle

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