As part of a move to reinvent The Loring Theater (formerly the Music Box) as a modern day variety house featuring music, theater, burlesque, cinema, and variety acts, the Directors LLP, who manage the 90-year-old venue, are adding to their eclectic mix of programming a monthly Theater Industry Dance Party, where theater folk will converge to drink, let loose, and dance onstage.
Andie Olthoff, audience services manager for the Loring, says the idea came about this fall during the Haunted Theater Halloween tour. On the last night of the run, everyone involved with the production celebrated with a big party where people danced onstage. "It was super fun," Olthoff says. Soon it was decided that a dance party would become a regular event. Olthoff, a local actress who also has worked up at L'Homme Dieu in St. Cloud (which hosts many Twin Cities theater artists) for the past six years, was charged with drumming up interest for the dance nights.
While there were 50 people at the first ad hoc dance party, Olthoff says they are aiming to draw around 100 people to future nights. The kickoff will be held this Friday, January 14. Doors will open at 10:30 p.m., and there will be a $5 cover which include the first drink.(Since alcohol will be served, the dance party is 21+).
The party on January 14 will have an ugly sweater theme. Olthoff says that future nights will have themes as well, such as $10 prom or ABC, which she explains stands for "Anything But Clothes" where attendees come in costume created from non-clothing material such as magazine papers.
Olthoff says that the dance nights are open to anyone; you don't have to be "in the industry" to attend, but the event will offer a unique experience that sets it apart from parties at clubs and other venues. "What's cool is that it takes place in this old theater," she says, "and you get to dance onstage." Plus, the party will be filled with artsy people. "We're hoping will be really laid back," says Olthoff.
Grant Cutler, from Grant Cutler and the Gorgeous Lords as well as the recently-defunct Lookbook, will be DJing the event, playing a mix of genres with a good beat. According to Olthoff it "will be fun, upbeat music."