Tuesday, June 30, 2009 | 4:05 p.m.
As they say, there’s no business like show business. This is true except in instances when there is, in fact, no business. This is a clichéd way of informing that the Planet Hollywood Theatre for the Performing Arts, one of the city’s signature entertainment venues, has no shows or concerts on its current events calendar.
The most recent major event to inhabit the Theatre for the Performing Arts (or “TPA” for those who want to refer to the place as if they are something of an insider) was the Miss USA Pageant back in April. After that, on May 15, an '80s and '90s-styled show titled "Freestyle Jam" (featuring Lisa Lisa!) was staged there. But since, nothing -- no boxing, Barenaked Ladies or Bob Dylan. And no shows have been booked for the rest of this year, or beyond.
Addressing the phantom activity in the theater, fittingly, is BASE Entertainment Chief Executive Officer Scott Zeiger. I say fittingly, because BASE books the shows at TPA and also produces “Phantom -- Las Vegas Spectacular,” the lean-and-mean version of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Broadway hit, at The Venetian. The stated reason for the inactivity at a hotel that is otherwise brimming with such (see “Madison, Holly: Peepshow”) is because of a pushed-back renovation effort.
“We had some original plans to close for the summer of ’09 to do some renovations, and we decided to continue with that plan in the summer of 2010,” Zeiger said today during a phone interview from the BASE offices in New York. “There is programming coming. It’s just not on the books yet.”
Without offering specifics, Zeiger said the renovations would involve “things like the box office, the dressing rooms,” in a theater that was designed decades ago. The seating capacity, already flexible up to 7,000, will not expand, he said.
“We’re undecided about exactly what we’ll do. There’s a whole sequence of things -- we’re working all that out,” Zeiger said. “We will be able to announce a better comprehensive plan, but the bones (of the theater) are from the 1970s, I believe, and it stands to reason that you could look at any and all aspects of the room. … We want to be competitive at this point.”
Zeiger said there will soon be announcements regarding plans for the theater and what shows will be held in the TPA before it is renovated. “We’ll be announcing more programming, filling in the calendar before the year is out, by the end of the summer,” he said. “Certainly there will be a number of attractions in 2009.” Good, because at this point, we'll take anything. Hans Klok, even.