Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Altoona Dada Society is coming to Cherry Lane

When you produce at FringeNYC you get your venue assignment in mid June. One thing that they ask though is that you not release the information for another week so that the festival has a chance to hear from people about any possible mistakes about the listing.

Last week we got our venue assignment for The Altoona Dada Society Presents "The Velvet Gentleman". This year we are going to at 38 Commerce Street, performing in the Cherry Lane Studio.

This is what the Cherry Lane Theatre's website has to say about history of the 60 seat black box space:

Prior to its present incarnation, the 1,000-square-foot space housed a restaurant in the 1950s that was built and managed by the Carroad family, who once owned and operated the entire block. The yard behind their building at 44 Commerce Street served as an outdoor eating area for the restaurant during spring and summer, and the Cherry Lane boiler once served all the properties on our stretch of Commerce Street. The restaurant, which had a floor dotted with gold-plated fleurs-de-lis, also served as a late-night gay club in the 60s and 70s.

Arnold Warwick, a tenant at 40 Commerce Street since 1950, claims that the Carroad family evicted an old sea captain in order to create a public ante room where our current lobby is located. Kim Hunter’s children, who grew up in the building, tell the story of an excavation next door at 36 Commerce Street in the late 50s that not only revealed an underground river, but also thousands of turtles.

At last year's FringeNYC, we performed at the Connelly Theatre. We couldn't have been more excited about the assignment, the Connelly was the perfect venue for Professor Ralph's Loss of Breath. Even the review for the show on commented on the space saying:
While many FringeNYC shows may end up in spaces that add little to the play onstage, Loss of Breath is different. In the old Connelly Theatre, with its faux ornate fixtures, small balcony, and rounded proscenium, it is easy to feel transported back to an age when Loss of Breath-style comedies played out on stages across America.
One of the drawbacks that we experienced at the Connelly was that it was very hard for us to fill the 99 seat house. (I can't image how shows assigned to the Lucille Lortel manage to get asses in the seats, but they do it all the time.) The truth is that we never did fill the house and the audience size didn't begin to pick up until the last two shows.

The Cherry Lane Studio on the other hand has a 60 seat house. I am optimistic that with a larger cast size and fewer seats that the actors will see fewer empty seats during the run. Only time will tell.

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