Monday, June 04, 2007

Beehive or Boiler Room? Answer...neither.

The NYTimes online has a review of the newly opened bar Beehive at the Boston Center for the Arts, (hat tip Boston Theatre Is Alive.)

The hip new space is being lauded, but in the rush to praise it, the facts are getting a little skewed:

Local artists helped impart a bordello-meets-supper-club gritty opulence, with touches like stencil work on the walls, recycled wood for the bars and lush red curtains in the pit. Sparkly chandeliers hang from exposed pipes.

“I can’t believe they made a bar out of a boiler room!” said Charles
Fletcher, 35, an architect and interior designer. “It has such a bohemian attitude, which is much needed in Boston.”

To which I say, "That Was No Boiler Room, That Was My Theatre!"

The Leland Center was a cramped little 40 seat black box space that provided affordable space for small theatre companies with no budget. And some of the most indelible memories I have of Boston theatre happened in that space.

The Leland was closed a couple of years ago to make way for the coming transformation of the Boston Center for the Arts. The little space was closed to make way for Beehive. (A bit of trivia: My theatre company's production was the last one in there.)

The replacement for Leland Center is the much cleaner and more presentable Rehearsal Hall in the Calderwood Pavilion. But though the rehearsal hall is a better space, it is also more expensive.

The Calderwood opened to well deserved fanfare a few years ago, but lost in all the adulation was the true math of the situation. Almost every article written talked about how the Calderwood was adding three performance spaces to the Boston theatre scene.

At the time some of us did try to keep pointing out that the actual story was that there was only a net gain to the city of 2 spaces.

Meanwhile, at the Beehive, the dancing goes on.

1 comment:

Novel said...

Given that most of my memories--both as an actress and a designer are in that space as well, I'm intrigued that it took so long to remodel.