Friday, November 23, 2007

The plot thickens... Robert Kennedy Jr. & Paul Newman have their eyes on the same Connecticut Theatre!!!

OK, you're not going to beleive this... Things were weird, things just got weirder.

I'm sitting here a couple of weeks ago thinking to myself, where can I host Rock The Reactors shows... Nuke Free and Clearwater only think in terms of folk music, yet I'm an old heavy metal horse, and Sherwood's been to 200 Dead shows... (OK, that explains a lot!)

See, Wetlands was a Deadhead hang out... Although I installed all the environmental activities at the club, it's never been where my musical heart was... I grew up at the feet of Black Sabbath... I'm into what they call "industrial", basically instrumental metal... which is pretty close to classical in appreciation, but to most people who haven't developed the sensibility, just sounds like noise... it's an acquired taste, it's not for everyone... it's basically where you end up once you've exhausted every other emotional avenue.

But I digress... I'm thinking, here we are, Entergy has its own theatre in Peekskill, the Paramount, where they won't allow anti-nuclear musicians. It's not uncommon. GNB has since discovered the nuclear power industry is invested in many local live music theatres, which is why a band like Phish would only donate anonymously to the New England Coalition working to shut down Vermont Yankee, because they were afraid their anti-nuclear activism would black list them from too many live venues.

So why can't the anti-nuclear forces have their own stage somewhere, where parts and proceeds of the performances could go to fund anti-nuclear efforts, like Wetlands did... except Wetlands happened prior to the anti-nuke revival, because no new nukes were being built, and everybody had given up trying to shut down all the old ones... the sea was calm, let sleeping dogs lie... until NuStart and the relicensing period... threw the whole shebang into high gear again.

So willy nilly, quite innocently in fact, I seek out a meeting with the new owner of the old Globe Theatre in Norwalk, via a mutual friend, a local real estate agent who has been trying to help the Environmental Library Fund find a permanent home for its collection.

I meet with co-owner Andy Kydes at his favorite Greek restaurant, Ambrosia in Norwalk... we shoot the shit about the future of the theatre... He wants to put in condos... God awful idea... I try to demonstrate to him that the building as a theatre is still a very viable formula... it just needs a little tender loving care and nurturing.

He has me draft a short proposal he could show to his partner... introduced me to the leader of the local neighborhood block association, Christien A. Ducker, the owner of the Flow of Art gallery, who seems to share my dream of seeing the theatre light up again. I start to do my homework a little bit... and guess what I find out?

Andy bought the theatre last year for 1.3 million... the place is a mess, a disaster area inside... I'm told there's asbestos needs cleaning out, bathrooms were trashed, it's being used as storage for an antique store. It's structurally sound, but years of piss poor use by unscrupulous promoters ransacked the place... no wonder the new owners don't want to be bothered, they just want to blow windows through the brick face and rent out luxury condos.

They do want to preserve the facade, that's at least something...

But this doesn't fare well with my desire to promote a few metal shows there, so I can raise money for FUSE USA, and other worthy anti-nuclear organizations, organizations that won't sell out to two-face politicians or play nice with Entergy stock holders! So I jam my foot in the door... network the locals.

This large "green" development company, Poko, plans to build 300+ low-income dwellings on the whole city block, wants to acquire the theatre... claim they want to restore it. I'm inclined to beleive their intent because the Music Theatre of Connecticut (MTC) tells me they've already spent $30.000 on a theatre feasibility study with Poko.

Get this... MTC is currently running their theatrical productions in the basement of the same building as the business office of Newman's Own in Westport, CT... it's a fair bet to assume, extrapolate, that this theatrical company wouldn't be welcome in the basement of Paul Newman's building if they weren't in his good graces. MTC claims they already have commitments of $10 million to restore, rehabilitate the Globe Theatre, so it's easy to see, after the successful reconstruction of the Westport Country Playhouse, where some of that money might be coming from.

This is where it gets really interesting... I looked up the head of PR for Poko developers... Lorraine Gimblett, and would you beleive, she's the marketing director for Keeper Springs, the bottled water company founded by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.!!! And who is partner with Robert on his venture other than John Hoving, the development director of Riverkeeper who put Riverkeeper on the map as a high powered environmental organization.

This begs the question, are Robert Kennedy Jr. & Paul Newman working to acquire the Globe Theatre together, wanting to restore this amazing old vaudeville house, to rehabilitate it as a music hall? If that's indeed the case, how do these two sit at the same table, when one claims he wants to shut down Indian Point, and the other is being paraded around as Entergy's pro-relicensing poster boy?

Interesting dynamics, don't you think? Remember, it was the metal band Heart who saved Radio City!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ten Million already raised to restore the Globe Theatre, but try raising that kind of money to shut down a nuclear power plant that is killing the people of Norwalk with their tritium and strontium 90, and FORGET ABOUT IT.

Someone should start the "Help Remy Buy The Globe" fund at a local bank.