This show looks familiar
Saturday, February 18, 2012View full version
Watching the comic performance of The Second City group Friday night reminded me that the PAC, the Performing Arts Center, was in a financial bind about 15 years ago. The finger-pointing and the criticisms of the project reminded me of the current pickle facing the Town Toyota Center, only worse, of course.
We were accused of mismanagement of funds and were asked to turn the project over to the city. A group of local business leaders took a look at our books, though, and gave us the go-ahead to finish the construction.
We got lucky, of course, with Clyde Ballard holding the top House position in our legislature. He took $3 million that the Benaroya Hall folks had expected for the Seattle Symphony hall, which put us almost over the top. We still had to borrow to finish it, but in 2000 we celebrated completion. What a day that was. A parody on “The Wizard of Oz” was our first performance that fall. I will never forget it. John McQuaig, Harold Schroeder and I donned kneepads to stump around as Munchkins in that memorable occasion.
In the 12 years since, the PAC has become a beloved fixture in our town. And we’ll look back some day likewise on the Toyota Center (I hope).