Art Lets Audiences Fill in That White Canvas

News   Art Lets Audiences Fill in That White Canvas New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani may be trying to clear every last corner of the city, but there's now one place where you can draw graffiti and get away with it -- the front of the Royale Theatre where Art is playing.

New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani may be trying to clear every last corner of the city, but there's now one place where you can draw graffiti and get away with it -- the front of the Royale Theatre where Art is playing.

Art, Yasmina Reza's play about three men whose longstanding friendship is brought to crisis over one friend's purchase of a blank white painting, has plastered two huge sheets of plasticized paper material on the front of the theatre, with the show's logo in small brushstroked letters in the lower right corner. There is no glass covering the paper, and the doors to the theatre have pictures of the show's three stars -- Victor Garber, Alan Alda and Alfred Molina -- with spray-paint cans, seemingly encouraging others to do the same.

Theatregoers have responded by using pens and magic markers to scrawl the ArtWalls with drawings, sayings, valentines, quotes from the show, and critiques. Here are a few samples, as of Feb. 27:

* "Victor was right. It isn't just white"

* A drawing of Batman (close to the ground) by Ryan Peller * "Kathy Stelnick from No. Plainfield, NY was here!"

* "If the painting was black, you could call it TAR!"

* This exchange: "Carter, You're late again!! Ticket at box office." Followed by: "Lucy, Sorry, forgive me. See you at Sam's XX." Followed by: "Screw you. You missed a great show!"

* "If there was an intermission, people wouldn't come back."

* "A new play on Broadway that's not 'Art.' It is a miracle!"

* An arrow pointing to Alfred Molina's picture, with the words, "Great photo, Fred!"

* Lastly: "Alan, Where are you? We've been waiting 2 hours & our feet are frozen! That's how much we enjoyed the show! Thanks!! Helen & Sibylle from Munich, Germany.

So far, no one appears to have used spray paint.

Productions spokesperson Adrian Bryan-Brown said the producers are definitely encouraging people to write on the sheets, but said there are no plans to display the sheets after they're full. "It's emphemeral he said.

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