The Globe reports.
Always wamted to go, too bad TOMMY was playing for, well, seems as if forever(90's?).
It's a shame this historic theater will now be turned into dorms for students who do not appreciate it's rich history. Emerson is beating around the bush, but you know that's what is going to happen.
Did you read past the first sentence? The article clearly states it will not be used for student housing.
There are so many considerations when dealing with old buildings like this. Once investing above a certain dollar threshold (likely easily passed just to upgrade the beyond-useful-life building systems described in the article), the owner is obliged to bring the building up to code. Doing ADA correctly and in a way that's sensitive to an old historical building like the Colonial is incredibly complicated and expensive—hell, just a feasibility study could take a year, if done right.
Can't say I know the details but two questions not asked are, one; where is Jon Platt in all this (the guy behind Broadway Across America) and, two; how much money has Josiah Spaulding sucked out of the Wang, et al, over the years? He's collected a paycheck every year while the downtown Boston theatre scene has become a shadow of its former self.
Up next season: CATS!
The bus charter and suburban theater audiences are nice, but they illustrate the backwards looking (except for bringing glasses of drinks INTO the theater from the lobby bar) marketing of OLD SCHOOL arts administrators.
Emerson needs to keep their bottom line returns on the REAL ESTATE (they aren't spending the surplus on student scholarships, that's for sure.)
If Mr. Spaulding knew all along he would not be renewing his lease, why not SAY SOMETHING? Opening up the discussion and the potential for a private donor rehab of the Colonial could have been encouraged - IF theater was really in the heart.
While we are at it, what's wrong with using all student DJ's on WERS?
It's mainly various forms of blue blood hacks getting fat sinecures to enforce mediocrity.
T'was ever thus.
Most cultural venue endowments in Boston are being leeched off of by otherwise unemployable members of influential families. The amount of money being siphoned out of cultural institutions to carry deadwood on the payroll is why so many cultural institutions are almost broke or falling apart.
Malcom Rogers took on this institutional rot with a battle axe when he ran the MFA and turned the place around. Almost every other cultural institution in the city needs someone like him to clean house and right the ship before it capsizes.
What happened to the Mass Horticultural Society should have been a warning, and wake-up call, but it wasn't.
If they let the students DJ then where could we hear Bruce Coburn, 10000 Maniacs and other 90s AAA garbage?
Back when people would get paid 500k a year for schmoozing, radio mattered. And that made it a hot course at WERS. But the kids always had to work with coaches. It was a class.
Now that radio is mainly a thing for right wing drywall contractors chasing talk wheeze bags, it is not a sexy course. I imagine the presence of these non students is in recognition of this change. They have to run due to license terms but would probably sell the bandwidth for wireless in a heartbeat if they could.
Im not a big man. Average size I guess. But I could barely breathe sitting upright in those seats at The Colonial. They make the seats at Fenway look like over-sized Lazyboys.
I never went back.
The absolute worst is the Somerville Theater, especially the seats in the balcony. They are so narrow they are not fit for average sized people. In fairness to the Somerville Theater they do mention this on their website. I think people were smaller back when that theater was built.
I am 5-9 and way overweight. The Colonial's seats aren't that bad in my estimation. The worst seats I've experienced are at the balcony/mezzanine of the Schubert Theater in Boston. Everyone's knees hurt at the Intermission of the Marriage of Figaro by the BLO. These seats are worse than anything at Fenway, Broadway theaters, airline seats, or anyplace else I visited in the US or London.
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