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New Broward Center Lounge Offers Taste Of High Life

C. DiMattei

At the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, it's intermission during a production of "War Horse."

Eric Chirinsky stands at the bar of the Broward Center's new lounge Club Level, drink in hand, watching the Miami Heat battle the Chicago Bulls on a flat-screen TV.

"I just figured I'd check it out and see how our home team was doing tonight," he says.

But his wife, Katarina, isn't focused on pro basketball right now.  She's sitting alone, enjoying a plate of hors d'oeuvres and a glass of bubbly.

"He's watching the game, I'm having my champagne and the children are home, so everybody's happy!" she exclaims.

The Chirinskys are first-timers at Club Level, which opened its doors in October. Modeled after a sports arena skybox, the lounge features an open bar, food service, plush seating and two massive viewing windows looking down on the theater stage.

Broward Center spokeswoman Jan Goodheart says Club Level is meant to appeal to what theater industry professionals refer to as  "drag-alongs."

"Someone who might not necessarily want to attend a live performance," Goodheart explains.  "But if they knew there was an opportunity where they might enjoy some food, some fine wine and perhaps be able to catch their favorite sports team on the screen, then they might be willing to try something new."

Club Level is part of a $55 million renovation of the Broward Center that includes a  waterfront pavilion along the New River and a new arts education center for schoolchildren.

Christine DiMattei is WLRN's Morning Edition anchor and also reports on Arts & Culture.