What to do on a Saturday evening when you don’t want to just “go out for dinner?” That was the question presented to me several weeks ago. We had plans with friends and wanted to do something other than eat. Long Island.com took me to “events” for the date we were interested in and allowed me to scroll until something caught my eye. “The Music of Kander and Ebb” was being presented at the Dix Hills Performing Arts Center (DHPAC). Everyone agreed, the tickets were purchased and we were set for the evening!
The DHPAC is a part of Five Towns College, located in what was once a middle school. Eleven handicapped (van) accessible spaces are located together at one end of the parking lot. Passengers can be dropped off directly in front of the walk (there are benches here) to the main entrance. If you choose to walk from these spots you can be under cover all of the way.
The street-level, main entrance has three sets of double doors. Once inside we found ourselves in a large lobby with smooth floors and lots of seating. We got our tickets from the box office and set out to find the restrooms. The closest ladies’ room (in the lobby area), is not handicapped-accessible and quite small. We were told that the only handicapped women’s restroom requires going outside and around the building. The handicapped-accessible men’s room is indoors, but quite a distance from the lobby. Another set of non-handicapped accessible restrooms do exist. They are off the main lobby, down six steps, near the vending machines (cold drinks and snacks). There are no baby-changing facilities.
After these discoveries it was time to enter the theater. Double doors led to the back row where wheelchair and companion seating are available. This is the only row not requiring steps to get to one’s seat. The theater is carpeted. The aisles are wide, the steps are long. The usher told us that people are always available to assist anyone in need.
We settled ourselves into comfortable seats and enjoyed “The World Goes Round” the music of Kander and Ebb. The cast was made up primarily of students and alum of the college. They were great! Good voices, good energy, and great enthusiasm made for an engaging performance.
After the last bow was taken and we returned to our car, we discussed how glad we were that we had come. There are wonderful performances to be had on Long Island. Our only lament was the sad state of handicapped accessible restrooms at this venue.
As always, we at Destination:Accessible advise you to check a venue’s website, www.ftc.edu/ftcpac, when planning a visit, to “know before you go.”