Theatres of Off-Broadway's 37 Arts Now Owned by Baryshnikov and Orchestra of St. Luke's

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20 Nov 2008

37 Arts, the three-theatre complex on far West 37th Street in Manhattan, once intended to be a major destination for Off-Broadway plays and musicals, is now in the hands of The Baryshnikov Arts Center and the Orchestra of St. Luke's, the New York Times reported.



The organizations have completed the purchase of the three theatres in the building at 450 West 37th Street. The top three floors of the complex are occupied by The Baryshnikov Arts Center, which serves "as a creative laboratory, meeting place and performing space for a vibrant community of experimental artists from dance, music, theatre, film, design and visual arts," according to BAC notes.

The 290-seat Theatre C in the building is to be named the Jerome Robbins Theater.

The Orchestra of St. Luke's purchased the building's remaining two theatres (Theatre A and Theatre B) on the first and second floors. The two organizations now own the entire building.

37 Arts opened in spring 2005 with the hit Off-Broadway revival Hurlyburly starring Ethan Hawke, Parker Posey, and Wallace Shawn.

37 Arts' 399-seat Theatre A is where the 2008 Tony Award-winning musical In the Heights was launched in 2007 prior to its move to Broadway. In the recent past, Theatre A housed Billy Connolly Live!, Off-Broadway's Frankenstein, a New Musical, A Jew Grows in Brooklyn and (in recent weeks) the abruptly closed Ballerina Who Loves B-boy. The 399-seat Theatre B housed Fela!, Family Secrets, The Ark, Beebo Brinker Chronicles and Runt of the Litter.

Productions of the New York Musical Theatre Festival also played the venues, which opened in April 2005.

The St. Luke's levels will be renamed the DiMenna Center for Classical Music.

The Orchestra of St. Luke's will be renting theatres A and B to producers and theatre companies until they close for renovation in the latter half of 2009.

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When the complex opened it was billed this way:

"37 Arts is a new 50,000 square foot state-of the-art theatre complex housing a unique combination of commercial and non-profit arts organizations.

"The complex comprises three commercial theatre spaces (one 290, one 399 and one 499-seat theatre) owned and operated by a team of experienced Broadway and Off-Broadway producers who form the center's management partnership. 37 Arts is co-owned by Dan Markley (producer of The Vagina Monologues and STOMP), Harriet Leve (producer of STOMP and The Crucible), Alan Schuster (manager of Off-Broadway theatres including the Union Square Theatre, Minetta Lane Theatre, and the Orpheum Theatre), and Kevin McCollum and Jeffrey Seller (producers of Rent and Avenue Q).

"The building is located in the hub of an emerging, vibrant arts community, currently experiencing a creative and artistic renaissance with a variety of new theaters and arts organizations, as well as the exciting transformation of West 42nd street just five blocks away."