I have always been a lover of concerts and musicals, and there is no better place to experience one than at the beautiful Saenger Theater on Canal Street. The Saenger opened in 1927, and enjoyed many successful decades, despite changing owners several times and undergoing a few major renovations. My first trip to the Saenger was in 2000, when I attended Beauty and the Beast with my husband and 3-year-old daughter. My strongest memory of this event was chasing my child down the aisle (at nine months pregnant, I might add) because she “just wanted to see Belle.” I instantly fell in love with the theater’s elegant beauty, and I was thrilled every time I was lucky enough to return. I saw a few more Broadway shows, laughed at Jerry Seinfeld a couple of times, and even saw Dora the Explorer live. 🙂
When Hurricane Katrina devastated the city in 2005, The Saenger was one of the storm’s worst casualties. It suffered severe water damage and sat, damaged and unused, for several years. In 2010, restoration work was finally scheduled to begin, but it was another year before any work would actually be done. While it felt as though the Saenger would never reopen, it did in the fall of 2013, with Jerry Seinfeld headlining three shows. I did not get to be part of Jerry’s audience this time, and it seemed like I would never get an opportunity to see the new and improved Saenger other than in photos, then Impractical Jokers came to town. This was my chance to view it for myself, and, while the show was just average, the theater was fabulous! In the years since, I’ve made every effort to get myself to the Saenger as often as possible. There have been many more Broadway shows, several more comedians, a few concerts…and then there was The Flight of the Conchords…concert or comedy? Actually both, I suppose. Some performances were better than others, but the venue never disappointed.
I hope you will check out the Saenger’s upcoming schedule of events and can find something that suits your interests. Even if the show isn’t the best you’ve ever seen, the theater just might be.