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Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Being shady about the Grove Playhouse

I got a call last week from County Commissioner Xavier Suarez, he said he wanted to personally invite me to the Commission meeting on March 12. It involves an update on the Playhouse. His office was going to send me more information, they have not yet.

But I noticed over at Facebook on the  Save the Coconut Grove Playhouse page, they are upset that County Mayor Carlos Gimenez is being shady. He is keeping Commissioner Suarez from entering the Playhouse to inspect it. He says no one has been inside in eight years, which is a lie, as I have been inside within eight years and so have dozens of others, including squatters and a bunch of kids on skateboards who destroyed a lot of the place. Until a few friends of mine took it upon themselves to board up the place, anyone could enter.

Here's the message from the Save the Coconut Grove Playhouse Facebook page:

"Your action is needed. Mayor Gimenez is lying and refusing to allow Commissioner Suarez access inside the Playhouse building, alleging its a "safety hazard", in spite of the fact that recently the University of Miami and Actor's Playhouse were allowed inside to retrieve costumes and memorabilia. The mayor lied by saying no one has been inside the building in EIGHT YEARS even though there have been several occasions when groups have gone inside which has been reported by the Miami Herald. The mayor also wants to have his own inspectors go inside before we do in order to do their own private inspection. That is unacceptable and a conflict of interest since there will be bias in having the team they are on the verge of hiring telling them what they want to hear about the condition of the building. We want to go inside and see the building for ourselves BEFORE the county brings in their own selected team hired in an unethical way. The Playhouse belongs to the state (that's us!) not the county. Commissioner Suarez is a county elected official who has jurisdiction over Coconut Grove and he has every right to have access to OUR Playhouse! Please call and email Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez at 305-375-5071 and at mayor@miamidade.gov and demand he allow Commissioner Suarez access to the building. We want to see the inside of the building before Commissioner Suarez' March 12 hearing on the Playhouse. ENOUGH!"

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are a lot of development goals that Gimenez and Sarnoff have teamed up on. If you wonder why Sarnoff has been so quiet on this issue, its because he cares about the Playhouse as much as he cares about Liberty City: How can he and his friends benefit from developing public property?

March 04, 2015 7:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This should inspire many talented playwrights for a masterpiece: "Shady Politics in the Shady Grove".

Tragicomedy Grand Opening: sometime in 2035.

March 04, 2015 10:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To everyone who cares about the Grove and the Playhouse: please consider the possibility that a developer wants to put a "stacked napkins" building at the Playhouse location and ...

March 04, 2015 3:45 PM  
Anonymous Allen Pertuz said...

What I would like to know is how many of the knee jerk commenters to stories about the Playhouse have actually seen a show there when it was open? Since most of you complain about the quality of the art and the price of a gyro at the CGAF, it can't be too many of you.

March 04, 2015 4:24 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

I have already written and called the Mayor. I hope this doesn't go nowhere like a lot of other things in the Grove. We need to really take a stand on this and not just complain. To say Gimenez lied is pretty harsh but obviously true. He should be called down on it but this seems to be the norm in politics. I would gladly donate to help hire an independent contractor and inspector to tell the truth about the condition of the building, if others would step up also.

March 04, 2015 4:36 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

To Mr. Pertuz, fyi I have been to the Playhouse many times, even when it was a movie theater in the 50s as a child. Later, I used to babysit in the upstairs apartments, for some of the children of the actors, and went to several plays there before it closed

March 04, 2015 4:39 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Great work Tom. We need as many people as possible to show up at Commissioner Suarez' March 12 meeting at 2PM at the Government Center building downtown. We should organize this so we know in advance a rough estimate of how many will come. Whoever can commit their time to attend that day should contact Tom or by notifying me at saveplayhouse@yahoo.com. There is strength in numbers; with a large turn out we stand a good chance of turning things around for the good. Hope to see you all there.

March 04, 2015 10:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is “Save the Coconut Grove Playhouse” a One Man Mission or is this a serious legitimist group effort? If so how many participants are involved? What qualifies them as experts in historical preservation, architecture, theater or government process? Other than selling a few T-shirts and criticism, what has they actually accomplished? How much money was raised for the Playhouse and themselves? When will the playhouse receive its cut? Will they be attending the March 12th meeting? Will they provide any positive input, other than derogatory remarks? It’s easy to complain and provide insults, but considerably more challenging to restore, create and build something of quality.

March 07, 2015 3:46 PM  

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