Stephen Sondheim Calls Emerson College’s Colonial Theatre Plan “A Crime”
Support for Boston’s Colonial Theatre to be saved from Emerson College, a university with an outstanding performing arts program, got a major boost less than a week before the college’s board of trustees are set to decide the fate of the future. While many notable members of the theatre community has spoken against the plans and have signed the petition, the latest not only has worked there before but is one of the best known names in the business of Broadway. Today, Luner on Theatre brings you the news that Stephen Sondheim has joined the fight to save Boston’s Colonial Theatre!
In an interview with Boston Magazine, eight-time Tony Award winner Stephen Sondheim weighed in on the battle for Boston’s Colonial Theatre.
“I’ve had shows which tried out in the Colonial, and it’s not only beautiful but acoustically first-rate, two qualities which are rare in tandem, even on Broadway,’’ Sondheim told Boston this week. “For those of us involved in musical theater, it’s a treasure and to tear it down would be not only a loss, but something of a crime.” (Click here for the Full Article)
In case you’ve somehow managed to miss what’s happening here, let’s catch you up! Emerson College recently announced that following The Book of Mormon‘s engagement, which ended October 11th, at The Colonial Theatre in Boston, the theatre would close for renovations. Plans regarding the theatre’s future life remained out of the public eye until the Boston Globe managed to get a copy on their hands and revealed Emerson planned to turn the historic theatre into a college dining hall. The announcement not only sparked local but national outrage from members of historic societies and mostly the theatre community, including many in or around Broadway.
Sondheim is no stranger to Boston yet alone the Colonial Theatre. Two of his very own works tried out in Boston at the Colonial before heading to Broadway. Those productions are Follies, mounted in 1971, and A Little Night Music, mounted in 1973. Ironically, Follies takes place in a theatre that is about to be torn down. As former New York Times critic Frank Rich pointed out, if current plans for the Colonial went forward it would be “Another terrible example of life imitating art”. The man who is not only respected on Broadway but throughout the worldwide theatre community has spoken on a theatre he knows first hand. Will Emerson College continue to ignore calls of action from not only theatre professionals but simply the best Broadway has to offer? Sondheim is just the latest major member of the theatre community to sign the petition which now has over 6,000 signatures.
Luner on Theatre will keep you updated on Emerson College’s plan to destroy the Colonial Theatre. Emerson has announced its Board of Trustees is set to meet the week of October 25th to discuss the future of the theatre. We plan to continue bringing you news and updates we as defend the history of the Colonial, it’s purpose and continue to call a stop for Emerson College’s outrageous plan. Until then, check out the rest of Luner on Theatre for all your theatre news you don’t only need but want to know and so much more!