CHARAS' Bimbo Rivas Theatre Receives Stage from American Place

News   CHARAS' Bimbo Rivas Theatre Receives Stage from American Place With management discussing bookings beyond imminent Fringe Festival shows, the soon-to-be reopened Bimbo Rivas Theatre at the CHARAS/El Bohio Community Center may swing into a routine production schedule soon, possibly within the next eight weeks.

With management discussing bookings beyond imminent Fringe Festival shows, the soon-to-be reopened Bimbo Rivas Theatre at the CHARAS/El Bohio Community Center may swing into a routine production schedule soon, possibly within the next eight weeks.

CHARAS says that discussions have taken place for the staging of Charlie Victor Romeo, Reverend Billy and Urinetown! at the 374-seat Bimbo Rivas.

Meanwhile, restorations and repair of the theatre continue, with volunteers scheduled to come in July 29 to accelerate the work schedule.

CHARAS spokesperson Susan Howard told Playbill On-Line that the American Place Theatre which, she said, "no longer looks like it's going to be there," has donated its old stage to the Bimbo Rivas. The fate of midtown's American Place Theatre, which has presented plays since the 1960s, including works by Sam Shepard, Steve Tesich and Eric Bogosian, was unclear at press time. During the past season, the space has been host to Theatre for a New Audience. TFANA is expected to announce its season soon.

As reported June 29, the management of the CHARAS/El Bohio Community Center gave the go ahead for the reopening of the Bimbo Rivas Theatre for use during the New York City Fringe Festival this summer. Present Company artistic director John Clancy and CHARAS Community Center organizer Susan Howard are pooling their resources and preparing five mini "venues" within the Lower East Side CHARAS building to stage Fringe Festival events beginning Aug. 12. The Bimbo Rivas is located in the CHARAS basement. The theatre's namesake, Bimbo Rivas, was a popular Lower East Side poet and playwright. The Latino Theatre Workshop was conducted in the Bimbo Rivas for several years before problems with the ventilation system forced it to close.

The Bimbo Rivas is located in the CHARAS basement. The theatre's namesake, Bimbo Rivas, was a popular Lower East Side poet and playwright. The Latino Theatre Workshop was conducted in the Bimbo Rivas for several years before problems with the ventilation system forced it to close.

New York City is the seventh major U.S. city to host a fringe festival. Gotham joined Seattle, Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Houston, Orlando and San Francisco as a fringe festival host city in 1997.

CHARAS was the former New York Public School 64. A popular community center for more than 20 years, the center's management is battling its landlord, the City of New York, which sold the property to developer Gregg Singer at auction. CHARAS claims it has a right to buy the building and the group has demonstrated every time the new owner has shown the building.

Ticket information on the Fringe Festival can be obtained by calling (212) 420-8888 or by visiting www.fringenyc.org.

-- By Murdoch McBride