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Second Stage to Leave Its Off Broadway Theater

Second Stage to Leave Its Off Broadway Theater

Feidlimid
#1Second Stage to Leave Its Off Broadway Theater
Posted: 2/23/24 at 10:15am

Second Stage to Leave Its Rem Koolhaas-Designed Off Broadway Theater

 

Oof. 

Last year, Second Stage gave up the lease on its Off Off Broadway space. Now it is also relinquishing the Kiser Theater, a 296-seat theater space where it has been presenting plays and musicals since 1999. The Broadway house has been unaffected by the changes. The company said it was committed to continuing to produce work Off Broadway, and was searching for a new place in which to do so.

The company said that it was leaving its space in a former bank in Times Square after 25 years because the rent was too high and the lease had unfavorable terms.

Trans World Equities has accumulated several holdings along Eighth Avenue, which, the publication said, “could indicate Trans World’s plans to assemble a large development parcel.”

Updated On: 2/23/24 at 10:15 AM

Kad Profile Photo
Kad
#2Second Stage to Leave Its Off Broadway Theater
Posted: 2/23/24 at 10:27am

This is really shocking news. Landlords and private equity firms strike again.


"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."

GottaGetAGimmick420
#3Second Stage to Leave Its Off Broadway Theater
Posted: 2/23/24 at 10:30am

Wow. This is a HUGE loss.


I'm just here so I don't get fined

DiscoCrows Profile Photo
DiscoCrows
#4Second Stage to Leave Its Off Broadway Theater
Posted: 2/23/24 at 10:33am

This is a shame, I love the Kiser.

TotallyEffed Profile Photo
TotallyEffed
#5Second Stage to Leave Its Off Broadway Theater
Posted: 2/23/24 at 10:36am

Nooooooo

Melissa25 Profile Photo
Melissa25
#6Second Stage to Leave Its Off Broadway Theater
Posted: 2/23/24 at 10:57am

So sad. I have so many great memories at the Kiser from Jar the Floor to Birdie Blue to Everyday Rapture to Dogfight to Evan to Superhero… I loved walking by that vault door. 

sinister teashop Profile Photo
sinister teashop
#7Second Stage to Leave Its Off Broadway Theater
Posted: 2/23/24 at 11:01am

Feidlimid said: "Second Stage to Leave Its Rem Koolhaas-Designed Off Broadway Theater



Oof.

Last year, Second Stage gave up the lease on its Off Off Broadway space. Now it is also relinquishing the Kiser Theater, a 296-seat theater space where it has been presenting plays and musicals since 1999. The Broadway house has been unaffected by the changes. The company said it was committed to continuing to produce work Off Broadway, and was searching for a new place in which to do so.

The company said that it was leaving its space in a former bank in Times Square after 25 years because the rent was too high and the lease had unfavorable terms.

Trans World Equities has accumulated several holdings along Eighth Avenue, which, the publication said, “could indicate Trans World’s plans to assemble a large development parcel.”
"

This is awful. Even if "Trans World Equities" wants to develop this into a hotel/casino/condo there needs to be a campaign to keep the art deco facade and the excellent Rem Koolhaas designed theater which is I believe the first space that the architect created for his beloved city. 

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BroadwayNYC2
#8Second Stage to Leave Its Off Broadway Theater
Posted: 2/23/24 at 11:15am

A loss. I’ve always been critical of Second Stage’s move to Broadway. Their productions of Torch Song and Take Me Out have really been the only things of substance (I’m seeing Appropriate next week). Wish they just stayed off Broadway where their track record was better. 

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Broadway Flash
#9Second Stage to Leave Its Off Broadway Theater
Posted: 2/23/24 at 11:16am

Wouldn’t be surprised if it turns into a fast food joint as that has been the trend in that area recently.  Chick fil a, McDonald’s, smash burger, shake shack. It was so nice coming out of port authority (which is about to get a big renovation) and popping into the Tony Kiser.  This area is so seedy at night, I’m sure they will find somewhere better, maybe further west by playwrights, signature, little shubert, theatre 555, mcc. 

Broadway Flash Profile Photo
Broadway Flash
#10Second Stage to Leave Its Off Broadway Theater
Posted: 2/23/24 at 11:23am

I thought the thanksgiving play was pretty good.  Looking forward to mother play. But yes, whoever runs second stage, I don’t usually care for the plays they do.  Their taste in theatre seems to be pretty mushy and sappy.  I LOVE playwrights horizons their shows are wild!! usually abstract surrealist and campy.  

Theater3232
#11Second Stage to Leave Its Off Broadway Theater
Posted: 2/23/24 at 11:29am

As of when?  Unfortunately the article is under a paywall so I can't open it.  People just don't want to pay to see what they're putting on.  Given what the Signature is programming and their severe lack of sales, I wouldn't be surprised if they are next.

 

Updated On: 2/23/24 at 11:29 AM

Kad Profile Photo
Kad
#12Second Stage to Leave Its Off Broadway Theater
Posted: 2/23/24 at 11:36am

From the article:

The Second Stage board had agreed to an 8-year lease renewal for the West 43rd Street building in 2021, but decided late last year to exercise a one-time option that allowed it out of the lease at the end of this year.

Lisa Lawer Post, the company’s executive director, cited financial concerns in explaining the decision by the organization’s board to terminate the lease for the West 43rd Street building, which is where the company presented early productions of shows including “Dear Evan Hansen,” “Next to Normal” and “Between Riverside and Crazy.”

She said the building’s infrastructure was aging, and under the lease terms, the occupant was responsible for repairs and maintenance, which would be difficult to finance given the relatively short term of the lease. She said that the company had concluded that its rent was about twice the market rate, and that there were concerns because the landlord had an option to terminate the lease at any time with 18 months notice.

“It was a very precarious situation, so the board made the decision to terminate, and we’re actively in conversations to find a more permanent home for the theater,” Post said.

Asked about the company’s overall financial health, Post said, “I would say we’re in a strong position given that we are just out of Covid, and we’ve been fortunate to have a very strong season that certainly has helped us.”


"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."

everythingtaboo Profile Photo
everythingtaboo
#13Second Stage to Leave Its Off Broadway Theater
Posted: 2/23/24 at 1:33pm

Wow. Is that a typical lease term? 8 years, you're responsible for upkeep, and they can kick you out with little notice?

Explains a lot about the city's current lack of commercial tenants.




"Hey little girls, look at all the men in shiny shirts and no wives!" - Jackie Hoffman, Xanadu, 19 Feb 2008

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raddersons
#14Second Stage to Leave Its Off Broadway Theater
Posted: 2/23/24 at 2:20pm

Sounds like this was purely a lease & real estate issue. The question now is, will they look for another off-broadway house? I can't imagine they don't.

PipingHotPiccolo
#15Second Stage to Leave Its Off Broadway Theater
Posted: 2/23/24 at 3:07pm

everythingtaboo said: "Wow. Is that a typical lease term? 8 years, you're responsible for upkeep, and they can kick you out with little notice?

Explains a lot about the city's current lack of commercial tenants.
"

Those terms are not at all standard in comm RE, though often tenants are responsible for non-structural upkeep, which makes sense. This sounds like a lease written by a landlord hoping a major development opportunity would come its way down the line, and they might now be jacking up the rent to force the theater's hand. 

ErmengardeStopSniveling Profile Photo
ErmengardeStopSniveling
#16Second Stage to Leave Its Off Broadway Theater
Posted: 2/23/24 at 8:15pm

Per the NYT: "The company said it was committed to continuing to produce work Off Broadway, and was searching for a new place in which to do so."

Using this list of theaters as a jumping off point, there are barely any options around midtown in the 299-seat range.

  • If they want to set up a longterm residency somewhere, Theater 555 (formerly the Pearl) is only 160 seats but it is in midtown and is probably open to a prestigious, longterm tenant.
  • Outside of midtown, The Orpheum (pending a reno) could be a longterm option, or The Lortel could be a short-term option. But that area is an extremely different beast than midtown and may cause them to lose some clientele.
  • If they just want to rent out a theatre 3x a year and be itinerant... Playhouse 46 at St. Luke's? The big theater at 59E59Stage 42 (200 more seats than the Kiser)? New World Stages? They lose a percentage of box office haul to the landlord in situations like this, but that could be more favorable than a residency and a place where they need to clean/maintain/staff it.

My pie-in-the-sky pipedream has been for someone to turn the old Lincoln Plaza Cinemas into a live theatre space. Or the former Best Buy or Bed Bath & Beyond. But I'm deeply aware that there may be insurmountable headaches or cost inefficiencies.

Fordham2015
#17Second Stage to Leave Its Off Broadway Theater
Posted: 2/23/24 at 8:17pm

ErmengardeStopSniveling said: "Per the NYT:"The company said it was committed to continuing to produce work Off Broadway, and was searching for a new place in which to do so."

Using this list of theaters as a jumping off point, there are barely any options around midtown in the 299-seat range.

  • If they want to set up a longterm residency somewhere,Theater 555 (formerly the Pearl) is only 160 seats but it is in midtown and is probably open to a prestigious, longterm tenant.
  • Outside of midtown,The Orpheum (pending a reno) could be a longterm option,orThe Lortelcould bea short-term option. But that area is an extremely different beast than midtown and may cause them to losesome clientele.
  • If they just want to rent out a theatre 3x a year and be itinerant...Playhouse 46 at St. Luke's? The big theater at 59E59?Stage 42 (200 more seats than the Kiser)? New World Stages? They lose a percentage of box office haul to thelandlord in situations like this, but that could be more favorable than a residency and a place where they need to clean/maintain/staff it.

My pie-in-the-sky pipedream has been for someone to turn the old Lincoln Plaza Cinemas into a live theatre space. Or the former Best Buy or Bed Bath & Beyond. But I'm deeply aware that there may be insurmountable headaches or cost inefficiencies."

Ah, the Lincoln Plaza. I miss that place, saw so many great movies there