Aisle Seat

More Proof God Exists
A production that would have recast Shakespeare's Othello as the Trial of O.J. has folded before its first performance, presumably due to lack of funds. (For those in need of a Bard brushup, Othello is the tale of a dark-skinned "Moor of Venice" who, in a fit of misplaced jealousy, kills his light-skinned wife.) Climate Theatre's production -- hatched in conjunction with theatreBlacklist -- focused on "how the media has turned O.J. into a victim," said Climate's executive producer, Marcia Crosby. But it was not to be. "We've just discovered how little money everybody has," Crosby said, adding that "some people have said it was in questionable taste."

This Space for Rent
Undaunted by the resignation earlier this month of artistic director of performing arts Baraka Sele, Center for the Arts Theatre is putting the finishing touches on its next season (which promises to be heavy on dance, much of it by local troupes, with some touring companies in the mix). In resigning, Sele cited the center's decision to scale back its mission as a presenting organization and become more of a hall-for-hire. Along those lines, the 714-seat, state-of-the-art house has booked its first ACT production, Hecuba, starring Olympia Dukakis and running till early June. Another heavy hitter without a roof to call its own, San Francisco Ballet (see below) will occupy the house for a 28-performance gig next February, March and May.

Sorry, That Seat Is Taken
Now that the San Francisco Ballet has announced its peripatetic 1995-96 repertory in three venues (the War Memorial Opera House, where the ballet normally plays, will be closed for 18 months beginning in 1996 for seismic retrofitting), many subscribers may be left with little choice of programs -- if they can get any tickets at all. A total of about 83,000 seats (not including The Nutcracker) will be available in the six-program season at Center for the Arts Theatre, Palace of Fine Arts and Zellerbach Hall; during a regular season at the 3,100-seat War Memorial, the pool is closer to 225,000. "We anticipate that we will be able to provide tickets to all subscribers who want them," says Arthur Jacobus, the ballet's executive director, although he admits that no system is in place to parcel out seats to the 15,000 core subscribers. Jacobus also notes that if the subscriber renewal rate remains at the customary 80 percent, then "very few single tickets" will be available for nonsubscribers. And an old tradition at the War -- standing room for $10 on the day of the perform-ance -- will be spotty next year. Only Zellerbach accommodates standees, and only 30 at each performance.

By Ellen McGarrahan, John Sullivan

 
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