Pavilion-ville: State of the art-- with portalets

Loretta Lynn has come a long way from her Butcher Hollow childhood, but when she performs July 30 at the still-under-construction Charlottesville Pavilion, she'll recognize one element of the Appalachian Kentucky she grew up in: a lack of indoor plumbing.

Even Gold Circle ticket holders shelling out $250 to see Lynn perform at the $3.4-million amphitheater can expect to avail themselves of portable toilets– although presumably they'll be state-of-the-art portable johns, fit for a world-class city.

"Don't rub it in," says Charlottesville Pavilion general manager Kirby Hutto. Toilets are slated to be fixtures of the not-yet-begun, way-over-budget $10 million Transit Center. "So this season and maybe next it'll be portalets," says Hutto.

Presumably that won't deter Lynn fans, or fans of other musicians signed to perform in the new pavilion, such as Ratdog and former Grateful Dead member Bob Weir on August 7, Little Feat on August 13, and Bruce Hornsby on August 21.

The pavilion, a long-time vision of DMB manager/real estate mogul Coran Capshaw to bring national acts to Charlottesville, will be finished July 25, Hutto promised at a June 20 press conference.

City Manager Gary O'Connell heralded the public/private partnership with Capshaw, as did Mayor David Brown– but neither offered use of City Hall restrooms for the grand opening event.

And with construction ongoing on the East End mall extension on 7th Street, the First Amendment Monument, and the upcoming Transit Center, "From an operational point, I have questions about where I can put my concessions and portalets," says Hutto.

He'll get a dry run with a free "soft opening" July 27, when the first act to perform in the pavilion will be funk band Karl Denson's Tiny Universe.

Terri Allard headlines the first Fridays After 5 performance July 29 and– as the first to perform in the covered amphitheater– will be the first musician who won't have to worry about being rained out at Fridays.

"I want to emphasize this is a partial season," says Hutto, who foresees a couple of events a week and promises more announcements.

The Loretta Lynn show is a coup for Live Arts, which will reap the proceeds in this, its 15th year. Director John Gibson calls it "a great birthday gift."

Live Arts advisory board member Sissy Spacek, who played Lynn in her Oscar-winning role in Coal Miner's Daughter, will host a pre-concert party at Live Arts and will introduce Lynn at the concert.

"It'll be the first time these two icons have shared the stage in 20 years," says Gibson, although he clarifies that Spacek will not perform with the woman whose songs she sings so well.

"The Downtown Mall is the living room for this community," says Gibson, "and we just got a great new home entertainment center."

Now if we can just do something about les toilettes.

Should Loretta Lynn choke on a pre-concert canape, there's a backup in town... Sissy Spacek won the 1980 best actress Oscar for acting (and singing!) like the country sensation.