Monday, October 15, 2012

Mondays are Dark

The Count de Hoernle Theater
Some Mondays are darker than others; two former cornerstones of the South Florida theatre scene are in the news this week as their already uncertain futures become murkier.

Our featured theatre this week, for obvious reasons, is The Count de Hoernle Theater, final home of the late Caldwell Theatre Company.  The company started off renting space from what is now Lynn University.  Their second home was a space they carved out of the Boca Raton Mall.  They were pushed out when that structure was torn down to be replaced with the Town Center Mall.  They wound up in another converted shopping center at the Levitz Shopping Plaza.  And when that structure was slated for demolition, they finally built their own space - just in time for the economy to kill the company.

Curtains for the Caldwell
The Miami Herald reports that Caldwell Theatre Company's final home  goes on the auction block tomorrow.  The 37 year old theatre company closed with its production of Working last April, and Entr'Acte Theatrix rented the venue from the bank to present its production of Jesus Christ Superstar.
... the Caldwell became a vital employer and nurturer of South Florida theater talent. Those American theater classics, later mixed with cutting-edge contemporary plays and some new works, provided decent pay for union actors and designers while building a loyal audience. Actors Barbara Bradshaw, Peter Haig, Pat Nesbit, John Felix, Tom Wahl, Elizabeth Dimon, Kim Cozort, Kenneth Kay, Terry Hardcastle, Dennis Creaghan, Harriet Oser, Angie Radosh and so many more became part of a loose-knit Caldwell rep company, appearing in play after play.
Just to underscore how connected the CTC was to South Florida; Tom Wahl is earning rave notices for his work in Zoetic Stage's I Am My Own Wife at the Arsht Center, Peter Haig is co-starring Educating Rita at New Theatre, Harriet Ozer opens next week in Driving Miss Daisy at the Plaza Theatre, and Elizabeth Dimon will be appearing in The Music Man at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre.  If you type in any of these names into the search feature at the top of this page, you'll find that these names come up often, in top-rated productions.

Speaking of Tom Wahl...
miamiartzine profiles the prolific actor, currently wowing crowds in Zoetic Stage's I Am My Own Wife at the Arsht Center in Miami.  South Florida Gay News speaks with both Wahl and director Stuart Meltzer about the production.

Speaking of The Music Man
Palm Beach Artspaper catches up with composer John Mercurio, whose most recent collaboration with Andrew Kato resulted in Through The Looking Glass, which premiered last week at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre.
“I think for me, the way in, whether it be book writing, music writing or lyric writing, is always telling a story. That’s my thing. That’s the only thing I ultimately care about. Some people say, ‘Who says you can do all three?’ And it’s not that I suddenly feel I can do this, it’s that I’m a storyteller,” he said. “I have this story to tell, and then I have to find the medium.”
Title Transfer for The Grove
Florida Theater On Stage reports that the state has reclaimed the title to The Coconut Grove Playhouse from its board of directors.  And while Miami-Dade County continues to pursue its plans of acquiring the property build a new theatre on the site, it may not be as easy as some people think
But the deal would depend on the specific details and requirements that the state puts on the deal. For instance, the law seems to indicate that the purchase must be at a fair market value – a six or seven-digit figure.
Life Goes On
Palm Beach Artspaper is optimistic in the face of the spate of closures.
The past season saw the second shoe drop in Palm Beach County. Boca Raton’s 37-year-old Caldwell Theatre Company closed its doors, soon after Florida Stage ended its operations, and area theatergoers are still reeling from both abrupt losses.

Add Broward County’s now-defunct Promethean Theatre ― or rather subtract it ― and the theatrical landscape is substantially thinner as we head into a new performance season.

On the other hand, Lou Tyrrell’s Theatre at Arts Garage in Delray Beach is back with a full season of new plays, echoing his developmental efforts at Florida Stage. A completely new company, OutrĂ© Theatre Co., debuts in Mizner Park in November, where Parade Productions returns for its second season. And Maltz Jupiter Theatre and Palm Beach Dramaworks are readying promising fare, coming off of their most successful seasons ever.
The Strong Silent Type
The Shiny Sheet finds that a play with only two roles actually has a third.
“The set is like a third character in the play,” said J. Barry Lewis, who directs production that opens Palm Beach Dramaworks’ season Oct. 12 in West Palm Beach. “It’s such a powerful visual statement. It speaks volumes as a metaphor.”
In this case, the set is Michael P. Amico's design for Talley's Folly at Palm Beach Dramaworks.  Arts Radio Network has a podcast of Bill Hirschman interviewing J. Barry Lewis about the production.

Speaking of Interviews
Florida Theater On Stage talks with Dom Scott, a New World School of the Arts graduate who just swung through town with the national tour of Rock of Ages.
“Miami is a very diverse cultural hub and… I was exposed to a lot of different people and cultures, and ways of living and ways of thinking,” he said. At Carver Middle School he took several of his regular courses in French. “Many of my peers there were Haitian. Many of my neighbors were Hispanic… and I went to New World where it was all kinds of different people.”

Meanwhile, on the SouthWEST Florida Theatre Scene...
Broadway World reports that the Gulfshore Playhouse is experimenting with "Pay-What-You-Can" previews for their upcoming production of Reza in Rep.
These Pay-What-You-Can previews will provide opportunities for all members of the community to see two Tony Award-winning plays at a professional regional theatre. Half of the proceeds from each performance will benefit two local charities. Both previews will take place at 8 p.m.
It's an interesting idea, if your previews don't tend to sell very well.

No comments:

Post a Comment