Glamor graces Three Stages opening

First performances of ‘A Chorus Line’ sell out as crowds pour in for opening
By: Don Chaddock Telegraph Managing Editor
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A red carpet and searchlights added a touch of Tinsel Town as Three Stages at Folsom Lake College opened its doors for their grand opening Friday evening. Tuxedos, shimmering dresses and sparkling wine rounded out the festivities. “This is such gala event for Folsom,” said Pam McAtee, of Folsom. “It’s exciting.” According to David Webb, the marketing director for Three Stages, “A Chorus Line” was sold out for its first performance. “We’re full on tonight,” he said. “We’re sold out for the entire weekend.” Sparkling wine flowed at a reception prior to the start of the show. “It’s a beautiful building and you look around at the people who volunteered their time and you’ve got to feel good about things,” said David Girard, of David Girard Vineyards in Placerville. He was busy filling glasses for patrons as they mingled in the lobby. “We’re pouring sparkling wine,” Girard said. “It seemed appropriate.” Andrew Vierra, of Folsom, didn’t take advantage of any of the earlier open houses or tours of the facility. “I’ve heard a lot of nice things about it and thought I’d wait and see it tonight to get the full effect,” Vierra said. “I think it’s going to be nice for the restaurants and bars who have been hit so hard. This should bring a lot more people to town.” Robert Flautt, the CEO of Folsom Lake Bank, was also on hand for the grand opening. “I’m speechless,” he said. “It’s a little overwhelming to see something like this. It’s truly magnificent. You can sense the pride Folsom has for something like this to arrive.” Flautt said the bank has been a booster of the arts center since its inception. “We’ve been big supporters since day one,” he said. “We have $25,000 for this.” The bank’s chairman of the board, David West, agreed. “It’s nice to see this thing grow,” West said. “It’s been fun to watch (the progress).” The $50-million, 80,000-square-foot visual and performing arts center is a crown jewel for the region, according to college President Thelma Scott-Skillman. “I’m honored to welcome you to Three Stages,” Scott-Skillman told the sold-out 850-seat theater minutes for the show started. “It’s a dream come true.” Dave Pier, the arts center’s executive director, also welcomed the crowd. “Tonight we celebrate the completion of this wonderful facility,” Pier said. “Now we have a special place for students and the community for years to come.” Joe Gagliardi, an El Dorado Hills resident and CEO of the Folsom Chamber of Commerce, said the facility should be a real draw for Folsom. “It’s awesome,” he said. “This will be a great asset to the region.” The arts center boasts three auditoriums with seating ranging from 850 to 100, as well as a recording studio, drama labs and more. To see a full schedule of upcoming shows, visit For more photographs of the opening night, visit