Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sarnoff Spews about the Grove. Again.

The Coconut Grove Playhouse is back in the news again.  Well, sort of. How can you do a story on The Grove and fail to acknowledge the fact
that Joe Adler is in fact poised to bring theatre back to town?

CBS4 does exactly that.  They give Commissioner Mark Sarnoff a great deal of time to bluster and and look outraged, but they basically fail to accurately report the facts.
Commissioner Sarnoff offers a solution, but it will be a fight because he wants the state to take over the property, even though the playhouse is privately owned. He essentially wants a new board of directors.
Really?  Sarnoff offered a solution?  When did he do that? Because nowhere in this CBS4 News Video did he actually say anything that could be construed as a solution.  He bitched.  He whined.  I expected him to pound his chest.

But he offered not one solution.

Sarnoff has correctly identified that the old board is a problem.  No news there.  But replacing an incompetent board with an ignorant board won't bring plays to a stage.  Theatres are built around artistic vision, not politics, or even economics.  Until someone who knows how to put plays on a stage and butts in seats is involved, there's no hope for the enterprise. 

And if any Miami politician is involved, the project is doomed.  Every single time a Miami politician gets involved, costs skyrocket, and deadlines get missed.  Been to Miami International lately?

Besides, new management is in the works.  If Gio Benitez had done some actual journalism, he'd have found that CBS4 reported this back in December:
The remaining Playhouse board has focused on maintaining the 82-year-old building, bringing the company out of debt, and looking to the future of the Playhouse. Now, the award-winning GableStage and its producing artistic director, Joseph Adler will raise the curtains on a new building.
Go watch Gio's video with Sarnoff.  Neither of them mention Adler, or the ongoing negotiations between The Grove's board and GableStage.  Did Benitez actually get a degree in journalism? From a real school?

If Commissioner Sarnoff was actually serious about bringing back the Playhouse, he'd be meeting with Joe Adler.  Or at least he'd be talking about why he's not meeting with Adler.

The bottom line is this: Mark Sarnoff can't save the Playhouse.  He doesn't know how to do that.  Every time he opens his yap, he makes it apparent.  What's his "solution?"  Take it away from the current owners.  And then what will he do?  Appoint a new board.  And who will be on this board?  No one who knows anything about saving a theatre company.

And who knows how to save a theatre company?  Joe Adler.  Adler took over the failing Florida Shakespeare Festival, and saved it.  We now know it as GableStage, one of Florida's most critically acclaimed theatres.

How many theatres has Sarnoff launched?  None.

Joe Adler, on the other hand, has helped out numerous small companies, helping them get on their feet.  Success stories include Promethean, Mad Cat, and Naked Stage.  All of them got a helping hand from Joe Adler.

Make no mistake: Sarnoff and his political cronies will not save The Coconut Grove Playhouse.  They will drive a final stake through it, and leave Grovites with nothing.  He's after the $20 million earmarked for capital development by the Coconut Grove Playhouse. And like every other occasion that Miami's politicians have gotten their hands into the cookie jar, the inadequate funds will be quickly squandered without bringing a single play to Coconut Grove.

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