Sunday, March 28, 2010

Boston Theatre - Too Much "No Comment" for My Taste

Geoff Edgers has an article in the Globe about the special arrangement between Diane Paulus' husband Randy Weiner in relation to the American Repertory Theater:

Weiner’s relationship with Harvard and the ART is unorthodox by the standards of most nonprofits. The university owns the Oberon building and takes in the revenues from it, but Weiner owns the trademark to Oberon and is paid a monthly royalty. To create the club, he drew on his experience as one of the owners of the Box, a hot New York burlesque nightspot that journalists like to describe as “hedonistic.’’


Weiner’s arrangement is controversial enough that the ART’s newly named producer, Diane Borger, wouldn’t comment on Weiner, saying she hadn’t worked at the company long enough. (In fact, Borger’s son-in-law is Simon Hammerstein, one of Weiner’s two partners at the Box.)

Edgers kind of positions the whole thing as a match between the Old Guard and the New Guard over on Brattle Street.

Thom Garvey at the Hub Review isn't buying it (Warning: NSFW on Tom's Post):

Of course Harvard hardly has an ethical reputation to rival Mother Theresa's; still, the situation at the A.R.T. obviously pushes the limits of the plausible deniability that is the university's norm. The claim that The Donkey Show is, in effect, funding "riskier" work at the A.R.T., as A Chorus Line once did for Joe Papp, is debatable, I'd say - but if Harvard wants to go that route, it still pretty much has to move the dancing girls to a commercial venue (as Papp did with his hits) to make the argument hold water. If The Donkey Show were playing on Lansdowne Street (where it belongs), and held its own in the commercial sector, there'd be few arguments against it, even if Weiner and Paulus were throwing a few bucks Harvard's way.

1 comment:

Ian Thal said...

Particularly interesting is that the students of the ART Institute for Advanced Theater Training are now performing (part of their training for the MFA) in a venue that essentially operates as a private revenue stream for the Artistic Director's husband.

This is on top of the fact that converting the black box theatre of Zero Arrow Street into Club Oberon ruins lines of sight for just about anything that is not in the format of The Donkey Show.