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Date: September 17, 2007

From SLC voters, with woes

   Derek P. Jensen The Salt Lake Tribune

Salt Lake City residents will want to know what they are buying before they head to the polls in November.
For instance, how will the next mayor shepherd shopping - and drinking - downtown? What will they do about skewed neighborhood construction, especially monster homes? And do they have an appetite for more Broadway plays?
The Salt Lake Tribune started the process early. In a new poll, we asked residents to opine about monster homes, a proposed Broadway-style theater and whether retail stores at City Creek Center should be open Sundays. The poll also gauges whether alcohol should flow from restaurant taps at the LDS Church's massive mall makeover.
Becker and Buhler weigh in. And while their answers are enlightening, the poll percentages are, perhaps, surprising. ...............

Making a play for Broadway

A site hasn't been selected. Funding seems both daunting and ill-defined. Arts patrons have yet to reach consensus.
Still, 59 percent of Salt Lake City residents want a Broadway-style theater downtown.
So do Becker and Buhler.
Becker notes a feasibility study suggests the patronage exists to support the new venue. But there are a mountain of questions.
"We're not at all settled on where that should be or whether it should be an existing building or a new structure," he says. "There's still a fair amount of work that needs to be done."

Buhler agrees, but says such a theater is what helps separate the capital from places like Midvale or Sandy.
"Right now, I don't think there is any kind of a shared vision, and it needs leadership from the mayor's office to get it done," Buhler says. "I would work closely with the county, arts groups and the University of Utah to make sure we do it in a way that will not be harmful to other arts groups."
Capital resident David RietĀbrock doesn't oppose a Broadway-style theater but wonders if it would succeed. "I don't know if it would make it here in Salt Lake," the 59-year-old Avenues resident says.
But Jennifer Strassburg, a retired music teacher who lives downtown, is excited about the prospect of another playhouse in Utah's capital.
"It's a real sign of [a city's] level of education and support of culture and the arts," she says. "It's just what educated civilizations do."



SL Trib Poll

* ROSEMARY WINTERS contributed to this story.

(c) 2007 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.