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Can the Coconut Grove Playhouse come back?

The board of the Coconut Grove Playhouse -- South Florida's largest regional theater, closed since April 2006 and some $4 million in debt -- has just released its plans for bringing the theater back (if all goes well) three to five years from now.  Today's story in the Herald has all the details.

Playhouse The basic idea: Replace the existing 1,100-seat theater with a 300-seat Playhouse (leaving room to build an additional 600-seat theater in the future); develop the surrounding property with revenue-producing shops/restaurants/condos; have the theater run by a partner who would focus on new work, reflect Miami's diversity, employ South Florida artists and develop solid educational programming.

All of which leads to myriad questions.  What about the 1926-vintage building's historic designation?  Who could best produce the kind of theater outlined in the board's plan?  How important is the Coconut Grove Playhouse to the health of theater in South Florida?  Can the theater come back?

We'd like to know what you think.  Please share your ideas, pro, con and in between.  We'll publish a sampling of them on Sunday.

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DramaGirl

Nothing in the Playhouse is left from 1926. The facade is of later vintage and the interior is from its 1950s remodeling.

Perhaps if the facade were restored to what it was in the 1920s, the historic designation would be appropriate.

CL Jahn

This is not a "return" of anything. The building isn't being saved, and anyone who made the Grove remotely successful -or at least notable - is long gone.

At best, Spivak and her crew are offering to finish destroying the historic Playhouse to replace it with a much smaller community auditorium.

Why would anyone give these jokers more money?

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