Tuesday, November 13, 2007

R.I.P. Theatorium

Bring down your flowers, ticket stubs and empty champagne bottles to 196-198 Stanton Street and throw them over the wooden fence. After four years of sitting empty the Theatorium is being torn down to make way for another apartment building on the Lower East Side.

We live just across the street so I was walking by yesterday and they had the roll gate open. I peeked in, hadn't seen the inside of that place for about five years. I told one of the workmen I used to work there when it was a theater. He said,

"It was a theater? We heard it was a strip club."

I thought, well, we would have made a hell of a lot more money.

Anyway, goney-gone now.

In its brief life it witnessed the first stagings of Tiny Ninja Theater, Rich Maxwell's Boxing 2000, Leigh Silverman's Brandon Teena, C-R-E-P-U-S-C-U-L-A-R ( which went on to become the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), Greg and Mark's Urinetown and about 500 other beautiful, shaggy shows. Usually when people talk about the place now, they talk about the rats and hell yes, there were rats, we even named one Gus we got to know him so well, but come on folks, it's Manhattan and we were always broke when we had that place. When I think about it, I think about the people who worked there and came in and out of the doors. I think of that crazy spiral staircase you had to navigate. I think of the look in a designer's eyes when they first caught sight of the large, open space. No columns? they'd ask and I'd nod happily.

But mostly I think of the good people who came and stayed and I wish I could thank them all again for their work and good humor. We never made a dime down there, but we made a lot of good shows and we almost always had a good time by the end of the day.

League meeting scheduled for Wednesday morning. General agreement that the draft SOP posted below is actually a Manifesto and should be reworked and titled as such. Working on a simple, clear SOP.

Excellent meeting last night with Dave Weems, Del Pentecost, Curtiss I'Cook and Nancy. Weems and I are going to write a multiple Emmy award-winning television show for Del, Curtiss and Nancy and we are all going to make, conservatively, eleven jillion dollars. Not bad at all.

All right. To work.


C. Muehleck said...

Very sad. Saw many fine shows there, including an excellent production of "Zastrossi." Of course, I remember when the Present Co. was on W44th St. (or W45?). Now everyone's in Billyburg. On we go.

John said...

Yeah, 45th Street. I remember that Zastrossi, it was done by TheatreSKAM, a great Canadian company.

nytheatre mike said...

Ah, yes: 45th Street. I remember that, too. Loved that place.

Anyway, I walked past the Theatorium later that day after reading your blog post, John. Yes, flowers would've been in order.

John said...

Got to admit, Monday night I was walking by and I went right back to my adoloscent juvenile offender days. Thought seriously about scaling the fence and poking around with a flashlight. Hell, the place is open and even if its not I know three easy ways to break in.

Age and a bad cold kept me from sneaking back out that night. And the knowledge that Nancy would just look at me and say, "You are an idiot." and be right.