LOS ANGELES -- Joan Stein and Susan Dietz, who have been called "the only ongoing commercial producers in Los Angeles theatre," have formed a company called Canon Theatricals that will not only be a production company but a general theater management and marketing service.
For the past nine years Stein and Dietz have operated the 382-seat Canon Theater in Beverly Hills, producing such shows as Love Letters, The Last Night at Ballyhoo and the current If You Ever Leave Me...I'm Going With You. But only Stein worked out of the Canon, while Dietz focused on a personal management business in the San Fernando valley.
Now Stein will join Dietz in a new office located near the Canon which has been incorporated as Canon Theatricals.
Ironically, the Canon might not last as a theater much longer, as the owner is considering tearing it down as part of a development plan. But even if that happens, Canon Theatricals will remain in business, said Stein.
"Suzi and I will continue to run a mid-sized theater in this city," she said, adding that she and her partner are talking with the Beverly Hills Cultural Center Foundation, a group investigating the possibility of converting a shuttered post office into a cultural center that would include a 499-seat theater. In the meantime, Canon Theatricals is planning the still-unscheduled West Coast premiere of the Off-Broadway hit Hedwig and the Angry Inch, plus other unnamed productions.
Stein and Dietz also are expanding their marketing services to other producers. "L.A. theater hasn't picked on the tremendous need for marketing, as opposed to just advertising," Dietz said. "Here you have to concentrate on bringing people together, because we're so spread out."
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent