Friday, April 4, 2008

Episode 12: Let 'Em Eat Cake

By the end of February, the owners of the slowly imploding Ivory Theatre had heard dozens of horror stories from the NonProphets, from New Line, and from the Patsy Cline people, as well as from others who will remain unnamed for now. Stories about countless lies both big and little, many bounced checks, violated contracts, broken promises, tantrums, and in general, behavior that was unprofessional, dishonest, and in many cases, childish.

Some had realized over time that Horror Show's behavior was literally that of a child -- refusing to take responsibility for her actions, lying when she thought she might be in trouble, a lack of understanding of the consequences of her actions, and mood swings that would make Tarzan dizzy. Everyone really thought the overwhelming evidence now accumulated and documented would convince the owners that Horror Show just had to go.

Everyone was wrong.

The Big Owner wrote a long letter to New Line, which said in part:

Many, many of the allegations that have been raised about [Horror Show] that have specific examples have turned out to be flatly untrue, were taken out of context, were issues about which [Horror Show] had no control and actually fell on [The Lackey Owner] or me or are things that, had I known about them in advance, I would have supported or at least not been concerned about.

That was it. Game Over. The theatre companies lost. Everyone was lying except Horror Show.

But there was more insanity on the horizon. The last rehearsal before New Line's Tech Week turned out to be the biggest surprise yet. The Lackey Owner scheduled a Democratic Caucus in the lobby during New Line's rehearsal. Yes, you read that right. Without telling New Line, they invited about 40 people into the theatre during a rehearsal.

Over the course of the evening, the New Line people heard them talking, yelling, laughing. And for about 20 minutes, New Line had to endure two children screaming continuously as they ran around the lobby. During the night, about a dozen of the Democrats drifted in and out of the theatre itself because they "wanted to watch." And when they left they set off the alarm and disappeared, so New Line had to stop their show to disarm the alarm. When New Line complained the next day, the owners told them that not only had they told New Line this would be happening, but that New Line had actually approved it. A big, surrealistic lie.

At one point late in New Line's run, someone came in during the day on a Saturday and sabotaged the two refrigerators behind the concession stand -- turning one off and turning the other to "freeze." So that when New Line arrived, half of the concession drinks were warm and half were frozen. Some soda cans had swelled up and exploded covering everything in frozen soda.

New Line started counting down the days to their escape. On closing night, March 29, the New Line people took everything of theirs out of the theatre, did the cleanest, most thorough strike they had ever done (doing their best to take the high road), and left the Ivory forever.

By this time, the NonProphets board had already decided they would never return. Others who were supposed to be doing individual shows there also had walked away. The Hydeware people had decided they would do their scheduled production of The Caucasian Chalk Circle at the Ivory, but would not return after that. The Ivory was slowly emptying...

Sic Semper Tyrannis!
An Ivory Survivor