BY CARLEIGH WELSH
The scale of transformation at the all-new Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts is nothing short of “Spectacular!” “Astonishing!” and “Inspiring!” — those are the enthusiastic words most frequently uttered by patrons as they enter the all-new, world-class outdoor performing arts center for the first time. Architect Peter Cadoux’s visionary design includes a glowing white roof that soars over the expanded stage as well as restored views of the Saugatuck River, such that Levitt Pavilion will instantly be recognized as an iconic cultural destination in the Northeast as well as an architectural masterpiece. From across the river, the Levitt Pavilion appears to be a beautiful ship setting sail into its future. And once a patron is on the lawn, nature provides an exquisite metaframe for the performance, heightening the beauty and impact produced by the all new state of the art sound and lighting.
The Levitt Pavilion opened July 20 and while launching its inaugural summer season, the organization also launched the final phase of the “Campaign to Support the New Levitt Pavilion: ‘Because Summer Lives Here,’” with a goal of raising $2.5 million over the next two years. These funds will help replenish the organization’s endowment, much of which was invested into the project, as well as to help offset the planned increase in operations and programming over the next five years. The new Levitt Pavilion cost $9 million — from concept to design to completion of construction.
Speaking of the Inaugural Summer Season: The seven-week festival featuring 40 evenings presented free of charge was programmed to celebrate the organization’s stunning new home. There will be something for everyone from Grammy Award-winner Vince Giordano & The Nighthawks, evoking the height of ballroom perfection, combining jazz elegance and swing, to Grammy Award-winner Wilson Savoy and The Pine Leaf Boys, the acclaimed Cajun & Creole band from South Louisiana. Other standout evenings include Vend du Nord and Sultans of String — both back by popular demand — and much more. Shows are still being announced — including the Summer Benefit — so the best bet is to log onto levittpavilion.com and sign up to stay in touch.
As we say at the Levitt Pavilion: “Summer Lives Here — and we hope you will, too!”
Carleigh Welsh is marketing and communications director for the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts, a member of the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County.