Drury Lane unveils fresh new look in Oakbrook Terrace
Kyle DeSantis stands by a piano in the Crystal Room at Drury Lane Theatre. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 22, 2013 10:34AM
OAKBROOK TERRACE — After more than two years in the making, Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace has raised the curtain on Act I of its renovation.
“We’re really excited about it,” said Drury Lane President Kyle DeSantis. “The whole atmosphere here has become lighter than it was. It’s brighter. It’s a more inviting place.”
Gone is the lobby’s black ceiling and red décor. A more open floor plan, decorated in powder blue, cream and chocolate brown, now greets visitors to the 30-year-old theater and banquet facility.
That color scheme is carried through to the facility’s 27,000-square-foot ballroom. A popular place for wedding receptions, its new neutral color scheme can easily be customized with a bride’s colors of choice.
DeSantis is the third generation of his family to oversee operations at Drury Lane. He took over as president when his grandfather, theater founder Tony DeSantis, died five years ago.
Not long after, he got to work on what he called a much-needed update. More than two years later, the facility finally unveiled its new look.
“It seems like an eternity,” said DeSantis. “We stayed open the entire time. That’s part of why it took so long. Everything had to be done in small pieces.”
The custom-designed carpet, patterned after the carpet in a palace in St. Petersburg, Russia, had to be installed between runs of shows. A little more was put down every 10 weeks.
The finishing touches soon will be complete on the building’s English Room, a spot for gatherings of 100 or less. Its décor is decidedly more stately than the rest of the renovated space, with dark, lacquered walls and an eclectic assortment of art that includes several pieces from the DeSantis family’s possessions.
“The rooms offer different options for different styles,” DeSantis said.
Not everything has changed. The facility still sparkles with dozens of crystal chandeliers throughout, including the four 12-foot Swarovski fixtures that have lit the lobby since Drury Lane first opened its doors.
“I actually think they stand out more now,” DeSantis said.
Phase II of Drury Lane’s transformation is set to begin soon and will focus on updating the facility’s Courtyard restaurant and bar. DeSantis expects that work to be done in 2014.
Eventually, the theater itself also will be updated. But one thing that won’t change is what goes on inside the 971-seat venue.
“We are certainly not going to change the entertainment,” DeSantis said.