Starlight? Indoors? In the winter? REALLY?!!
At about 9 p.m. on January 31, the final guests to attend the inaugural run of Starlight Indoors were still laughing as they filed out of One-Man Star Wars Trilogy and exited through the Applause Club to their cars. They were the last of more than 10,000 patrons who believed us when we said Starlight Theatre was taking the show indoors – into heated, comfortable, intimate performance spaces!
Throughout January, Kansas Citians (as well as guests who drove in from Topeka, Wichita, Chillicothe and probably points beyond) trusted our message, bought their tickets and came to Starlight. While here, they laughed out loud A LOT to four Off-Broadway comedies and parodies.
Dixie’s Tupperware Party, Potted Potter and One-Man Star Wars Trilogy played for a week each in Starlight’s 500-seat Cohen Community Stage House, while Late Nite Catechism called class to order for 24 performances over a three-week period in the 200-seat Berger Studio.
Based upon ratings and responses collected in post-show surveys emailed to attendees, Starlight’s first official try at indoor programming was a big success. More than 95% of guests said they were likely, very likely or definitely would return to future indoor shows, while 97% said they would recommend Starlight Indoors to others. As for future indoor programming they’d like to see at Starlight, surveyed patrons ranked comedic plays, shows for adults and musicals as their top three.
Among the many comments received were these favorites:
“Love that Starlight is expanding their vision and offering alternative shows for adults. Wonderful idea and vision.”
“This was so much better than either I or my wife expected! Having never been to Starlight for any event before, this was a great way to get to know the area. I loved the intimate nature of the show.”
“We just moved back to the area and I remember Starlight as a child. The indoor experience is new, and it was so fun and reasonable. Everyone from parking attendants to volunteers to people serving food were friendly and upbeat. Loved it!”
Starlight president and CEO Rich Baker and director of indoor programming Caroline Gibel believe the indoors experiment has proved its value for the future.
“I am extremely proud of how well our first Starlight Indoors series was received,” Gibel said.
Baker agreed. “There is now awareness that Starlight is not just a summer venue anymore,” he said. “I look forward to next year’s indoor shows. Our hope is to schedule the shows over several months to make the series much more available and appealing to Starlight patrons.”