New York Post theater critic Michael Riedel (whom we usually just refer to as “our fiancé“) is getting his Christmas present early this year: Live Nation has put the Foxwoods Theatre on the auction block. This is despite the fact that the world’s biggest concert promoter (Live Nation Entertainment, the company born from the merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster) announced yesterday that it predicted a higher demand for its events in 2013, thanks to a poll showing a potential 37 percent increase in ticket buyers.
But it’s not Live Nation’s boost that is making Mr. Riedel, who we assume will take us to Hawaii on our honeymoon so he can complain about the Kupanaha Maui Magic Show for being trite and unoriginal, so happy. No, Mr. Riedel is bursting with Holiday joy because it proves that he was right about Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, Young Frankenstein, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and The Pirate Queen, all of which opened at Foxwoods. And now it will pay for its sins … with a lack of buyers. Mwa-ha-ha-ha!
[$40 million], I’m told, is the asking price for the Foxwoods Theatre, that white elephant on West 42nd Street, where “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” chugs along despite my best efforts.
(Power of the press!)
Unfortunately, Spider-Man is actually still bringing in a million a week, so Mr. Riedel has to find other examples of why Foxwoods is cursed.
Directors, writers and performers don’t like to work in the Foxwoods. It’s way too big, and there are dead spots where sound doesn’t travel.
“God, we hated that theater,” says a member of the “Young Frankenstein” production team. “We did all sorts of things to fix the sound, but nothing ever worked.”
The theater, with its huge staff, is also expensive to carry when it’s empty. And it’s had long periods of being empty over the years. “Spider-Man” should be there for another year or so — I’ve stopped making predictions about its longevity — but sooner or later the theater will need a new tenant.
And since a couple of quotes and non-predictions don’t make a particularly compelling case, the theater critic finally resorts to superstition:
The Foxwoods has always been under a cloud. It was constructed in 1996 from two legendary 42nd Street theaters — the Lyric and the Apollo — by one of Broadway’s biggest crooks, Garth Drabinsky.
Drabinsky, founder of the defunct company Livent, is being forced to listen to the score of “Hot Feet” over and over again in his cell at the Beaver Creek minimum-security prison in Canada.
He’s serving a five-year sentence for fraud.
If he really wanted the theater to sink, he should suggest Macbeth as its next production.