The Metropolis Centre for the Performing Arts, a new Chicago-area cultural mecca due to open in late 1999, will become a home away from home for two Windy City companies, the renowned improvisational troupe The Second City and the Highland Park-based Apple Tree Theatre.
The development, planned for the northwest Chicago suburb of Arlington Heights, will divide its bookings between Second City, Apple Tree and Metropolis itself, each group producing at the 250-290 seat theatre four months of the year.
Alan Salzenstein, managing director of the Apple Tree, was recently named executive director of the arts center. His duties will include the management and business operations of the theatre, producing the events presented by Metropolis and serving as a liaison to Second City and Apple Tree. (That may mean Salzenstein will act as a liaison to himself, since he intends to retain his position at Apple Tree.)
Prior to his five years at the Highland Park theatre, Salzenstein was managing director of Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace, Pegasus Players and Halsted Theatre Centre. He is also an entertainment lawyer and an executive board member of the League of Chicago Theatres.
Construction began on the Metropolis Centre in early August and is expected to conclude in time for a Sept. 1, 1999, opening. The complex will also include a restaurant, retail shopping space and loft-style apartments. --By Robert Simonson