Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Why 'Stomp' might be leaving the East Village after 21 years

Let's head to the Daily News for the story:

Owners of The Orpheum Theater, where STOMP has played for 21 years, say the producers of the show are violating a licensing agreement requiring them to give the landlord more notice and valid reasons if they want to relocate.

STOMP’s producers notified Orpheum “out of the blue” last week that they plan to move out as of June 15, according to court papers.

They have arranged to go to a rival off-Broadway theater, New World Stages, a multi-theater complex on West 50th St.

The producers said they are leaving because the air conditioning system at the historic Orpheum Theater has been inoperable for 72 straight hours — triggering their opt-out clause.

For their part, an attorney for the Orpheum on Second Avenue between St. Mark's Place and East Seventh Street says that such a sudden move will cause "serious and irreparable harm" to the theater. The Orpheum says that they do not any other productions in the pipeline.

Per the News: "The theater is asking the court to issue an emergency order blocking STOMP from making the move and forcing the producers to arbitration as required by the license."

The News has updated their story here.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Watershed moment.

Anonymous said...

It would be a shame to lose this show. I remember when it opened back in the 1990s.

Anonymous said...

Turn it into a live music venue, call it the New Fillmore East.

Anonymous said...

Stomp is okay but it's a tourist attraction through and through. Would be cool if the Orpheum were repurposed for something we could all enjoy from time to time.

nygrump said...

Maybe it could be repurposed to something luxurious and be more in line with the neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

'an attorney for the Orpheum on Second Avenue between St. Mark's Place and East Seventh Street says that such a sudden move will cause "serious and irreparable harm" to the theater'

Hmm, no shit?! Perhaps the Orpheum should have thought of that when their A/C was out for three days straight, which likely caused some serious harm to ticket sales and audience show enjoyment...

Anonymous said...

Anon @3:03 here again, guess I should have read the whole article, which claims STOMP never actually complained/notified landlord about the faulty AC. Maybe the lawyer is actually right on this one...

Anonymous said...

"The average temperature at curtain time between April 18-26 was 58.5 F"

And, at the same time, it was over 80 degrees on April 19th.

Anonymous said...

@ 3:18 PM
The "landlord"?
I don't know if Liberty Theatres (owner of Orpheum) owns the actual building (i.e. is the landlord) But I can definitely say that the performing artists are not the party who is required to notify the landlord.

Anonymous said...

This could easily spell the end of that space as a theater. The Variety up on 3rd Avenue was torn down to make way for condos. We are theater folk in my household and have long speculated that when Stomp goes so does the theater. If a non-profit could buy the theater that might save it. Unfortunately the only downtown/neighborhood organization that could maybe afford that is the Public. But with all the upgrades they have been doing to their Lafayette location they probably don't have the resources right now. It is always sad to see a venue for live theater in jeopardy.

Anonymous said...

wow, landlords vs. theater producers...it's like 2 bad-guy pro wrestlers fighting each other.

Anonymous said...

Maybe a fish store!!!

bowboy said...

Stomp has been a cash cow for that theater ever since Off-Bway realized that not all tourist spoke english, but still wanted to see a show.

I miss seeing actual plays there: Weller's Key Exchange, Little Shop of Horrors, Sandra Bernhard's Without You I'm Nothing, Eric Bogosian's Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll, David Mamet's Oleanna, etc. A closing after this many years should be no big deal - it used to happen every few months.

Maybe next the Blue Men could free up the Astor Place Theater, the D. Roth Theater could do an actual play, and we could really get back to theater around here.

Anonymous said...

This is a weird world. One landlord sues a tenant to stay; another, such as Stage, right next door, is sued to leave.

Anonymous said...

This has been a rough period for just about everyone on 2nd ave between 7th and St Marks.

Anonymous said...

Stomp is a ridiculous tourist attraction. It is dated, and if I owned this theater, I would be happy to see it go. An Off Broadway venue like this, in this great area, is a huge financial asset. Let Stomp go, and bring something cool and more contemporary to this theater.

Obviously, this space needs a new programming director. Sitting back and settling on the same show for 20+ years is lazy, and unsophisticated.

Look at what New York Theater Workshop has done on 4th Street. Not only is it a huge artistic triumph, it is also a huge financial cash cow.

Scuba Diva said...

I never saw STOMP, but I remember a blind woman talking about the time she saw it with her family.

I'd love if they'd have actual shows at the Orpheum; I think the rule of thumb here—or in anything pertaining to New York in general—is "Follow the money."

Is there more money to be had by selling off a beloved, historic building for condos? In almost every case, yes.

Anonymous said...

I'm with 7:14pm. Stomp! isn't the only game in town, or it shouldn't be. I'm personally sick of seeing the obnoxious plain white bold italic "STOMP" on black sign. Time for not only something new in there but more things.

Have other musicals, plays, comedy, live music etc. Think outside of the box.

Anonymous said...

Scuba Diva, she didn't see it though.

Anonymous said...

I would love to see a rotating selection of plays and performances occupy this space. I enjoyed Stomp when I saw it twice back in the '90s, but it's not like you can see the same show more than a couple of times.

John M said...

Can't wait to see them go. Like others have said, there used to be actual plays performed in that theater until this b.s. started snagging the yahoos. It would be great to get back to that if it's possible.

Anonymous said...

New Amato Opera + ?

Anonymous said...

so, the orpheum closes, and the stage next door closes, and, i smell big time development. two building lots, wo-hoo!

daho said...

I moved here in '96, and am always amazed Stomp is still Stomping there after all these years.

That said, I'd love to see more alternatives at the Orpheum - with other off off Bway theaters just around the corner on East 4th, it's still a theater area. So goodbye Stomp and good luck.

Just hoping it's not re-developed, that would be horrible.

bayou said...

@bowboy - thanks both for sharing so many memories, which I had forgotten, and for the good ideas about going forward.