The economy has claimed another arts victim, this time the Boca Raton-based New Vista Theatre. Artistic director Avi Hoffman (he's on the left in the photo with Gary Marachek, his co-star in New Vista's The Odd Couple) e-mailed colleagues, patrons and supporters over the weekend to confirm that both the 11-year-old National Center for Jewish Cultural Arts and its theater division, New Vista, are out of business.
New Vista, which performed most recently in a huge high school auditorium in far west Boca Raton, had been struggling for some time. After presenting its last large-scale production, Enter Laughing,just over a year ago, the company cancelled a production of Mel Brooks' The Producers set for last winter. Instead, it presented a new show by Hoffman titled Still Jewish After All These Years, a followup to his popular Too Jewish? and Too Jewish Two shows. The company held benefit performances last spring, but its efforts weren't enough.
Hoffman and his colleagues, Peter Librach and Shari Klages, thanked both the theater professionals and donors who tried to help save New Vista but added, "The financial support we have received has been highly appreciated, but insufficient to carry us through these difficult economic times."
The artists involved in New Vista will continue working elsewhere -- Hoffman will be in a show at GableStage later this season -- but unfortunately, Palm Beach County now has one less professional theater company.