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Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Some assorted theatrical news from around the web...

-You thought that low dollar was a boon to Broadway, attracting record ticket sales to Euro-tourists? Maybe so, but there's a downside. Especially or US theatre org's in the business of importing foreign shows and artists. Among other problems: "Past transfers could exploit cost-saving measures like having costumes or scenery built abroad for lower prices. Now, with the dollar worth less, those savings are largely eliminated." Gordon Cox in Variety crunches the numbers.

-Bon Voyage, Campbell Robertson. The intrepid NYT theatre beat reporter (and a fine one, imho) is moving onto another beat. Would you believe...Iraq? (Fill in Broadway-crazier/ scarier-than-Iraq joke here.) Gosh, good luck, Campbell! Hope the Malaki government feeds you less propaganda than the Shuberts. (Ha! got one in anyway.)...In related news, another Times theatre writer Jesse Greene is leaving the paper entirely. As he disclosed on a "Theatre Talk" episode lately, he'll be going to New York Magazine. Two good reporters/writers. Let's see what becomes of NYT coverage now. (Hat tip: commenter June, on both stories.)

-TKTS comes to Brooklyn. That's right, hipsters. You, too, can now score $50 balcony seats to Cry Baby!...According to Crain's, "Only 13% of residents living in boroughs outside Manhattan attended a Broadway show during the 2006-2007 season." So I guess they're looking to change that. They (by they I mean TDF) tried a booth in the borough before, back in '93. And no one came. But now that everyone who could once afford to live in Manhattan lives there, I guess it's worth another shot. It'll be at the corner of Jay and Myrtle, near Borough Hall.

-Provincetown Playhouse update. This from Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation:

I regret to inform you that [on June 19] the Community Board voted to approve NYU's plan for demolishing 133-139 MacDougal Street, the Provincetown Playhouse and Apartments. Thanks to all of our efforts, NYU has agreed to preserve the four walls of the theater, as well as its entry facade, but nothing else of the building will be preserved....The one ray of hope is that with the ruling by the State on the building's eligibility for the Register of Historic Places, NYU cannot use any state or federal money for this project without subjecting it to a historic preservation review process, which could end up disqualifying use of those funds.
Seems like the NYU compromise to retain at least the external appearance of the site (of some of the site) was enough to get the proposal past the Board and local officials....You know, one final word on this. While some of us were debating this last month, some argued what was the point of preserving Provincetown if so many important sites like Cafe Cino disappeared long ago. To which I say--well damn that, too! Just because we lost one doesn't mean we have to lose them all!

Or to quote Woody Allen on a similar bruhaha, the fate of the Marx Brothers' childhood tenement:
“In countries that place a high value on cultural contributions as opposed to simply bulldozing things in the name of progress, the Marx Brothers home would remain standing and affixed with a plaque.”
No, buildings are not the art itself. But aren't they at least a nice visual reminder that we once had some great artists?....And forget the artists, even. Isn't it nice to retain just some of the older look of this city, before it becomes all soulless glass highrises and nouveau-malls?

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