Studio Event Theatre
Studio Event Theatre is a half club, half event venue hybrid (clevenue?) on King West. Directly across the street from Bell Lightbox , Studio already has some upcoming TIFF events in the works in addition to being open for clubbing every Saturday.
I visited Studio during their dress rehearsal before the clevenue opened to the public. Like many actors, the outside is difficult to decipher and heavily guarded. Like no actors, the inside is beautiful and well put together.
The interior of Studio heavily reflects the theatre theme. Anyone who has ever been in a school play or seen the movie Fame or witnessed Ryan Murphy's public encompresis knows that there are two types of theatre kids: the cool, attractive, popular kids and the kids who want to sit and talk about the "tilt" of the scene. Studio's set accommodates both types: one half of the space is an open area for dancing, while the other half is made up of a sitting area decorated like a home entertainment setup.
The dancing area is a large open space with satin couches (a reference to the casting couch) while the sitting area is decorated like an upscale lodge with bookshelves, antler chandeliers and inspirational quotations written in chalk on the ceiling (a reference to looking at the ceiling while cringing on the inside because you're one of the loser theatre types instead of the cool ones and will never get laid).
I ordered a vodka soda ($7 for generic vodka, though top shelf vodka is available). One of the club promoters mentioned that the bartenders would be 'theatre characters' so I was nervous to drink in the event that the character the bartender was portraying was Munchausen By-Proxy Sufferer but the drink was free of substances (I prefer my poison to be cheap, Swedish and of the Absolut variety). I assume the characters the bartenders were playing were simply Excellent Bartenders , in which case they did a superb job but I secretly look forward to something a little more risquĂŠ next time (see earlier character idea).
As the night went on, DJ Aristotle played beats that got more and more of the sitting-and-talking types on the dance floor. Though the space is definitely smaller than most clubs in Toronto, the furniture can be rearranged in various permutations to suit different events, which is a great use of the space.
Overall, Studio seems like a fun place to go. Everyone was having fun and the windows provide a great view of drunk bros and stilletoed girls staggering and stumbling down King Street. Studio's strength lies in its versatility: like any good thespian, it's simply a shell for whatever you need it to be at any given time. The only drawback is the cost. The $20 cover suggests that it may be a place more suited for people who enjoy watching theatre rather than people involved in theatre.
Studio is still very new and in time, it could become a mainstay of Restaurant Row on King Street (not everyone can shoot to success overnight for suspicious reasons, Jessica Chastain ). Just be wary of meeting new people on the dance floor; if they're talking too much about their headshots and whether their director wants to sleep with him, head over to the sitting area. They may not be "popular" or "smell good" or "look human" but they can tell you whether or not a scene has teeth.