The South Orange Performing Arts Center, which previously announced that it will be closed through Sept. 30 due to Tropical Storm Ida damage suffered on Sept. 1, has been forced to extend that. The mainstage theater and lobby will remain closed through Dec. 7, though SOPAC Loft room and the Herb + Milly Iris Gallery are open. The Loft and gallery can be accessed through the adjacent Village at SOPAC movie theater, which is open as well.
According to a press release, SOPAC sustained “far more extensive damages than originally anticipated. The carpeted lobby was completely flooded with approximately 6 inches of Category 3 storm water. The water went into the theater, running down the raked seating area and collecting in the orchestra pit. The water soaked the walls in the lobby and theatre up to about two feet high. The stage was saturated in one area and it is currently unknown how much water remains underneath. The stage is in the process of being dismantled to continue damage investigations. The roof leaked in several areas. The public and service elevators were flooded. The loading dock sustained significant water damage. Mold was found under the wallpaper in the lobby. A sound board was damaged and determined a loss.”
According to the press release, the Category 3 assessment of the waters means “it was contaminated with sewage. By law, a Certified Industrial Hygienist will assess the level of contamination in all affected areas.”
SOPAC will try to find another location for its planned Nov. 6 gala, featuring Michael Feinstein.
The first show after reopening is planned to be Martin Sexton, on Dec. 9.
As mentioned, the Loft will remain open. Its next show will be an Oct. 6 “Laughs in the Loft” comedy show, hosted by Joe Larson and featuring Julia Scotti, John Conroy and Franqi French.
Curtis Grayson III’s “Transitional Energy: Form, Shape, Color” exhibition will be on view in the Herb + Milly Iris Gallery from Sept. 23 to Nov. 21.
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