I am pretty versed in WordPress but don't claim to know

I am pretty versed in WordPress but don't claim to know (much) about programming. I am taking on a project of my own, which will be a local events site that also has a (basically) 'yellow pages' list of local businesses as well. At present, it's nothing but a domain name at this point. I don't want it to look too plain (I have a colorful logo, etc.). My plan was to choose a basic layout/theme I like then 'add' the directory plugin as well as an event plugin (and may want to allow businesses to post their own events, but that remains to be seen). Any suggestions as to the best way (basically) to approach this? Just want to make sure I start with the best 'basic' foundation. I guess the gist of the question is: I am I better off NOT to install some other theme then add these capabilities/plugins (and just stick with the theme offered inside the directory plugin, for instance)?