“Waltz” a hit, but is CSPS ready for showtime?

The Monday night concert at CSPS in Cedar Rapids was a real treat. Walking past the yellow enter at your own risk tag on the front of the building was, well, a little disconcerting.

It was the final concert in the Landfall Festival of World Music series presented by Legion Arts. I’d been looking forward to the Waltz With Me Quartet since reading about the festival a couple of weeks ago. (I’m not big on waltzes, but I saw that fiddles were involved.) The Mrs. and I caught the Munnelly Band a week ago at Greene Square Park, and I caught two African bands the next night on the same stage.

Some friends went to see a Spanish group Friday night upstairs at CSPS. Two of them later mentioned experiencing some allergy-like symptoms during that show. When I asked the other couple if they’d like to catch the fiddle music, I got this back in an email:

“No thanks! It was a bit hard to breathe in there.”

The first floor of the building was 10 to 12 feet deep in flood waters in June. The New Bohemia neighborhood is still largely a disaster area. Inside the CSPS doors, before climbing the stairs to gallery and stage, we were greeted by the telltale smell of flood damage. It wasn’t nearly as strong upstairs, but still perceptible.

Was it because I was expecting a little discomfort that my eyes bothered me and I had a mild headache before intermission? Could be, but one has to wonder about the air quality, the yellow tag still taped to the window in front, and the decision to use the upstairs for a public gathering just yet.

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