The Show Must Go On

Yesterday I reported on the probability that the Coconut Grove Playhouse might be shut down due to lack of funding. I posted an email from Lucie Arnaz calling for support to keep the Playhouse open at least until her play “Sonia Flew” about a Pedro Pan kid had a chance to run.

Looks like it worked. From Today’s Miami Herald:

Show goes on at the fabled Grove

After spirited fundraising by Lucie Arnaz, the historic Coconut Grove Playhouse reopened to complete the season with a play about the Cuban-American experience.

Playhouse officials found themselves unable to pay some $200,000 it would have cost to stage Sonia Flew, which stars Arnaz and is based on the historic exodus of some 14,000 Cuban children in the early 1960s during Operation Pedro Pan.

A plea from Arnaz brought in enough donations — about $150,000 — to persuade the board Thursday to reopen for two weeks.

”We’re asking South Florida to help us,” Spivack said, adding that the run of Sonia Flew could be extended a week in Coconut Grove if enough tickets were sold and enough money raised.

The charismatic Arnaz, who targeted her plea to wealthy members of the Cuban community and urged them to show up at the meeting in support of the play, donated $50,000 herself.

One Cuban-American supporter at the meeting, Jose Antonio Font, wrote a check for $1,000, saying he was making the donation on the condition that “the play goes on.”

”All of us need to support this play and this institution,” said Font, a real estate developer. “We are all guilty — I am guilty — of staying home and not supporting the arts enough.”

It’s uncertain whether the Playhouse will remain open after Sonia Flew. But at least it’s good to know some folks in South Florida got off their asses and helped support what can only be described as a Miami Landmark.

If anyone out there wants to lend a hand and donate a few dollars, you can do so here.

Also, at the Miami Herald link above youll find a couple of great slideshows on the history of the Playhouse and video of yesterday’s emergency meeting.

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