The Playgoer: Photo of the Day

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Friday, July 09, 2010

Photo of the Day

New York's United Palace Theater, at Broadway & 175th St.

Beautiful space, of course.  But hard to believe it may be next year's venue for the Tony Awards!  But that's what Riedel is reporting today.

Who knew we had such a gem in our midst?  Originally built as a Loews movie palace, it eventually became the church of the notorious Reverend Ike and now hosts rock concerts.

So by all means, let's get some theatre in there.  But the Tonys???

The Tonys always used to make due with one of the larger Broadway houses, before settling in at Radio City Music Hall (from which they're being bumped next year for Cirque du Soleil).  Do they really need 3,000-4,000 seats?  Do they really sell all those extra balcony tickets made available to the hoypolloy hoi polloi at exorbitant prices?  (And from which it's a terrible view to watch essentially a television broadcast.)

Riedel jests they do need the space " to hold all the people billed as producers above the title of a Jeffrey Richards show."  But joking aside, as the broadcasts get worse and worse, I keep feeling the ceremony needs to get smaller, more intimate, and more, well, live.

Meanwhile, I'll enjoy seeing how the Broadway League ferries everyone so far uptown.  Probably, indeed, by ferry, rather than driving their limos through the streets of Harlem.


jan@broadwayandme said...

I think your concept of Harlem may be a little old-school. The neighborhood is deep into its gentrification phase. I think Seth Rudetsky even lives there. Still, like you, I'd like to see the Tonys stay in the Theater District.

Playgoer said...

Good point, Jan. To be clear I was only thinking of them passing THROUGH Harlem to get to Washington Heights, where the theatre is. But point taken.

Unfortunately it seems to me the improvements in Harlem are more due to forced gentrification from above than improved economy and quality of life from below.

Matt said...

I used to live a few blocks from the Palace. What would be so ironic about the Tonys there is that there is almost ZERO theatre happening in that neck of the woods.

Even better - maybe the celebs can stick around for the fruit/gym socks sale that happens in front of the church on the weekend.

Anonymous said...

Only a member of the hoi polloi would misspell it.

Playgoer said...

Yikes, you've outed me, Anon! Duly corrected.

I didn't even know it was Greek. Learn somethin' new every day...