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Coconut Grove Playhouse proposal to get public presentation


The Coconut Grove Playhouse Advisory Committee, a special committee of the Coconut Grove Village Council, is inviting anyone interested in the future of the Coconut Grove Playhouse to a meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Miami City Hall for a presentation by the Coconut Grove Theater Foundation.

Attorney Lewis "Mike" Eidson, chairman of the Performing Arts Center Trust and a former member of the playhouse board, heads the foundation, which was formed in May.  The group is proposing that a larger 750-seat regional theater be added to plans for a 300-seat theater on the site, which is jointly leased by Miami-Dade County and Florida International University.  Under the county's current plan, the award-winning GableStage company would operate the smaller theater.

The historic theater, which closed during its 50th anniversary season under the weight of $4 million in debt, has sat vacant and deteriorating since 2006.  But with $20 million in bond money available, the debt cleared and proposals being submitted to the county by architects, the theater where Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot had its American premiere in 1956 finally seems poised for a comeback.

At Friday's meeting, those attending will get an update on the status of county plans, then Eidson and other Foundation members will detail their ideas for the larger theater on the site.  A question-and-answer session will follow.

Miami City Hall is located at 3500 Pan American Dr. in Coconut Grove.