Luna was pretty great Wednesday night at the Andy Warhol Museum. I was standing in the museum, enjoying the show but thinking about how when I first came to Pittsburgh when I was curious about a venue I would google to see what I could learn about it. You know, is it BYOB? How are the bathrooms? Is it a good venue for a show? So, let’s make this post a venue overview.
The Space Itself. A
I’ve been to the Warhol Museum for several shows now. Vivian Girls and the Beets, Harper Simon and Emily Rodgers, Karl Hendricks, Times New Viking, etc… Every show up until Luna had been in the Theatre. Great decision to move the shows into the lobby space of the museum. That was always an under-utilized space in some ways. I know it got a lot of use at receptions, but making it functional for shows really adds to it’s utilization. And this show had more energy than any other show i’d ever been at at the Warhol Museum. I have always found shows in odd places (museums, schools, etc…) to be slightly awkward at times. I think it’s the big vacant feeling the building around the show emits after hours. But I really like seeing a show against the backdrop of the Warhol Museum which is definitely one of the highlights of Pittsburgh’s arts scene. The venue is handicap accessible which is nice. I did think it would have been difficult for anyone with disabilities to get a good viewpoint. Perhaps off to the side. In any case, the space overall is a solid A. I’d give it an A+ but for the vacant feeling and the completely understandable inability to bring your drink to the bathrooms. I don’t think they can have that policy any other way but it is a nuisance having to coordinate your drinks and bathroom trips in that way. If you have a handy friend willing to hold your drink that’s fine but sometimes I go to shows solo.
Space Amenities. B-
The restrooms at the Warhol are clean and spacious and they are handicap accessible which is a solid plus. It’s not often that you have bathrooms solid enough to take a comfortable shit at a show if you needed to. But you totally can at the Warhol. And I assume they meet the needs for ladies though I obviously don’t know that for sure.
The Warhol sets up two mini bars for this show. I think in the past there has only been one that I recall, so that’s a plus. There may have been two at the last show I was at there but I can’t recall for sure. But there are two negatives for the Warhol last night. Not shockingly alcohol selection is limited. That’s always been the case but it’s never bothered me because they had a good beer selection. Wine is a solid choice and the selection was fine for show fair. The liquor selection was limited but that’s to be expected for a makeshift bar. But my issue is that I prefer to drink beer at shows and the selection was crap (Bud Lite, Miller, Stella, and some other crap corporate beer). In the past they’ve always had at least one good beer from a mid-sized brewery such as DogFish 60 minute IPA. So that’s a ding from my perspective. And the bar is cash only so that is just something that you have to prepare for and we stupidly didn’t (I swear they took cards last time). Fortunately the gift shop broke our $100 bill so hooyah to the good folks (and in general you aren’t going to find better hosts than the good people at the Andy Warhol Museum). And one more ding actually. I don’t remember the Warhol ever doing this in the past, so maybe they had an incident. But wasting a plastic bottle by pouring the bottle of beer into a plastic cup. I’m not sure why this is necessary but a definite negative compared to past shows there.
Overall, an A+ for the restrooms but a C- for the bar. Add in no food (not that we’d expect it there) and we’ll call it a B-. And let’s face it, other than the issue with the beer selection and plastic cups, the rest of the issues here are simply museum limitations. So well done overall.
Space Extras. A+
The open gift shop is a nice bonus to the show. I don’t know if it was open on previous shows because it was previously located off to the side and I really didn’t bother checking. But it was great to be able to meander through the store before the set. And they didn’t limit your ability to take your drink in (so I was very, very careful!). And they made change for us! So an A+ here as far as extras.