The city of Denver is considering a plan to demolish Boettcher Concert Hall and build an outdoor amphitheater in its place at the Denver Performing Arts Complex.

The 2,600-seat venue is Denver’s symphony hall, home to the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, which has played there every season since it opened in 1978.

The CSO is  set to move out – temporarily – at the end of the 2014-15 concert season to accommodate a planned $17 million upgrade of the facility. It had hoped to return a year later.

But, according to e-mails between the CSO and the Arts & Venues department, the plan may be changing.

Demolition of Boettcher is the “leading idea” now, A&V director Kent Rice wrote to CSO chair Jerry Kern in an e-mail exchange dated July 21. The CSO released the e-mails Thursday afternoon.

“I do believe that it’s likely the best option — given the money we have to spend versus what needs to be done to properly renovate the hall,” Rice wrote.

In a formal statement, the CSO immediately dismissed the suggestion:

“The City of Denver’s proposal to demolish Boettcher Concert Hall is out of step with the spirit of innovation and visionary thinking that define modern Denver. Great cities — and great leaders — respect and protect institutions while embracing change and growth. To even propose the demolition of a beloved community asset reflects a lack of both vision and leadership.”

The CSO has asked to see the city’s financial data on the viability of an outdoor venue.

The city has made no secret of its desire to put an outdoor amphitheater downtown as a way of expanding the diversity of audiences who use the arts complex.

Earlier plans called for the amphitheater to go in Sculpture Park, an open space along Speer Boulevard.

But the city has been wrestling with what, exactly, it should do with Boettcher. It has three, similar-sized venues already at DPAC, also home to the Buell Theatre and the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, and some have questioned whether spending millions on a redundant space is worth the money.

Recent suggestions included refitting the theater so its size could be adjusted up or down depending on the performance. DPAC lacks a smaller venue where groups that draw audiences of 500-1,500 can perform and that has limited the scope of local groups who can use the complex.

And that has kept the complex a place where the art is expensive and the audiences mostly white and older — in a city that is increasingly Latino and young.

Additionally, Boettcher is too large for the CSO, which fills it about halfway most nights.

Still, the demolition would be a detriment to the orchestra, which would not have a home of its own as most major orchestras do. The CSO is an important tenant at DPAC, drawing about 150,000 patrons to 90 performances a year, according to the orchestra.

It also raises hundreds of thousands for the complex through Denver’s seat tax, a fee tacked onto every seat sold at a city-owned venue.

The city has suggested the CSO move into the Ellie Caulkins Opera House a few doors down in the complex where it would share space with Opera Colorado and the Colorado Ballet.

Because the three organizations perform on overlapping nights, especially in the month of December, that would make for crowded quarters.

By Ray Mark Rinaldi | The Denver Post

Ray Mark Rinaldi: 303-954-1540, rrinaldi@denverpost.com or twitter.com/rayrinaldi


[Thank you to Denver Musicians Association for passing this info along. http://www.dmamusic.org]

[Editor’s note: Personally, I think this is one of the dumbest ideas I’ve ever heard….]

* * * * *

By Gwynne Watkins

Once one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, Mike Myers hasn’t been seen on the big screen since his cameo in Inglourious Basterds in 2009. Other than providing a Scottish brogue for a certain surly animated ogre, he’s all but dropped out of the movies. Now, Myers is back in a different role, as the director of Supermensch, a documentary in select theaters now about music manager and legendary schmoozer Shep Gordon. As he returns to the public eye, he’s starting to open up about a few of the rumors — or, as he refers to them, “Paul Bunyan-esque lore” — that have followed him over the course of his career. His most revealing interview to date may be his visit to Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, which went live on Monday. Here are 9 things we learned about Myers from listening to his conversation with Maron.

—Comedy ultimately brought Myers fame, but he was a pretty serious kid; at age 12, his biggest passions were architecture and French New Wave films. “I thought I was going to be John Cassavetes…. I thought I was going to create a film movement called Canadian neo-realism,” he told Maron.

—Myers is aware of his reputation for being “difficult,” and said it came from being involved in so many aspects of his films. “What people don’t realize is that I write, create and own the things that I do. So when I call up the marketing department, they go, ‘That’s not in the movie star handbook. You’re not supposed to call up the marketing department.’ And I go, ‘What should I do?… I’m the producer and the creator and the owner of this thing that I wrote.’”

—One thing Myers is proud of sticking up for is the “Bohemian Rhapsody” scene in Wayne’s World, his first movie. The producers wanted to replace the classic rock song by Queen with one by Guns N’ Roses, a more popular band in 1991. “I fought really, really hard for it. At one point I said to everybody, ‘Well, I’m out, I don’t want to make this movie if it’s not ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’” he recalled. After the release of the film, the 1975 song went to no. 1 for the second time.

—The documentary Supermensch is Myers’ directorial debut, but he may be getting serious about pursuing a directing career. “[When I was younger] I thought I was going to make documentaries and do improvised movies… Which I still might do,” he told Maron.

Read the rest of the article here:

[Website contains videos of Mike’s best moments.]

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