Sunday, October 30, 2005

LA Times Publishes - LA Cowboy! Billy Crystal, Neil Simon And Eli Broad Asked To Save Los Angeles!,0,2773623.story?coll=la-sunday-commentary

Yes, journalistic standards have plummeted so low at the Los Angeles Times, they have stooped to printing an Op-Ed piece by... LA Cowboy.

Oh, the shame of it!

And it's not even one of their Out-Of-The-Tent' features, either (which would then, of course need to be called, the 'Not-Even-In-This-Friggin' -Universe' feature), but as a regular Op-Ed piece in the Current section.

So go read it!

OK. Finished? Now despite the comedic tone of the piece, my intent is serious.

A major concern of Mayor Villaraigosa is how to stop the Convention Center from continuing to hemorrhage taxpayer's money.

Another civic concern we all share is that LA's hotel occupancy rates remaining low (though improving) at the same time hotel rates in New York have not only surpassed 9/11 figures, but they now have the highest ever occupancy rates according to the New York Times (not counting the WW II era, I presume) - 85%, which essentially means they are... full.

And among the many points I did not have space to make in my piece, is that in LA at night you can see the same movies you see anywhere else, attend the same concerts by the same artists that tour anywhere else in the country and go to bars and clubs and restaurants that are not all that different than what you find in every other major city.

But the big difference with both New York and London, is that every night you can choose from dozens of major Broadway (or... West End) plays and musicals you can not see anywhere else in the world.

And the over 4.5 billion dollars - yes, over FOUR BILLION dollars - that Broadway brings into the New York economy makes theater the single number one reason why tourists go to New York.

The frustrating thing for many of us downtown is that not only do we have a existing dozen Broadway style theaters only minutes from the convention center, but we also have all the producing - and performing - talent right here in LA to get them re-opened.

All it would take is for Disney to make a fraction of their commitment to theater in New York - to Los Angeles theater or for Neil Simon to adopt one theater in downtown for revivals of his plays or for Billy Crystal to do a run in a LA Broadway theater of his one man show or for Mel Brooks to bring the Producers - with its original cast - for a run in a LA Broadway theater - to re-start our once thriving commercial theater district.

So how can we make this to happen?

What are the exact, specific things that we need to do?

Well, more on this later today - but I just got an IM that my cell phone voice mail is now ... full, so I have to return some calls.

1 comment:

joseph mailander said...

I'm not optimistic about this, because the size of the theaters kick in Union wages, which makes everything expensive. It's not just the will of Billy Crystal---a production needs a lot of money to put something on down there.

But when looking for a lot of money, don't stop at Eli Broad. Talk to Michael Ritchie up the street and a little ways west. He must know where to get that kind of money, because he just spent $3.5 million on a production about poor people in NY in the depression. (The irony seems to have been lost on almost everyone: an extravaganza about Hudson riverrats). One-tenth of that could have financed a Union-produced drama at a Broadway LA theater for a month.