Wednesday, November 17, 2004

No Man is an Island Entire of Himself...

The Globe reports on some of what has been bubbling beneath all the "good news" of theatre openings in Boston. Apparently the Merrimack Rep and The Wang are going through some tight times that seem to mirror much of the bad news that that has been appearing in the opening pages of American Theatre.

"We're undergoing a transition from being supported by a few key individuals to really broadening that support to the whole community and the institutions and the audience members," Towers said. The theater has 5,000 subscribers, 80 percent of whom live outside of Lowell.

The laugh out loud line for me, however, was in regards to the Wang Center....Hold on...let me cry for a second...

The Wang Center announced its own setback. It cancelled the planned run of an original production of Sam Shepard's "True West." The play, scheduled for the Shubert Theatre Jan. 25 through Feb. 6, would have been the first produced from
the "American Voices" reading series started by the Wang last year. Steve Maler, the Wang's vice president of artistic programming, had been set to direct.

True West in the Wang Center? Wait for the punchline though:

Josiah A. Spaulding Jr., president and CEO of the Wang, wasn't available for comment. He did release a statement that read, in part: "This soft economic climate does not support this type of risk, and although we heard from many audience members of their interest in the production, the ticket sales are not strong enough for us to move ahead at this time."

Soft Economic Climate? For whom? Is this the same Josiah Spaulding of the $536K salary, talking here?

I feel bad for the MRT and will probably send them a check, but the Wang is like the Death Star for the theatre arts here in Boston. If I had a dime for every suburbanite I have heard complain because they got stuck in the Mir Space Station they call the Balcony in that cavernous crater, I would be able to mount and produce my own Roadshow of Some Like It Hot.

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