Local and Industry News

The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando finally has an opening date.

After many years of planning and construction, the $514 million center will open on November 6, 2014. The 2700-seat Disney Hall and the 300-seat Alexis and Jim Pugh Theater will be part of the opening ceremonies, but the 1700-seat acoustic hall was split from the main project in 2009 and likely will not be completed until at least 2018.

Members of Actors Equity are protesting tiered wages for national musical theater tours. While many blockbuster tours pay the actors full production rates, many other shows, such as "Memphis" and "Chicago" use lower tiered rates that pay as little as half of the full production rate. The tiered contracts were first introduced into the Equity contracts in 2004 as a way to get non-Equity tours covered under the Equity contract.

Miami-Dade County has taken control of the Coconut Grove Playhouse. The county presented evidence to the state that the theater's creditors had been satisfied just prior to the deadline that would have required the state to place the theater up for sale to the highest bidder. The county can now move forward with plans to rebuild the historic 1926 playhouse.

Progressive Corporation chairman Peter B. Lewis has passed away. Lewis, who retired to Coconut Grove, Florida, was a generous philanthropist who donated approximately $500 million to various causes during his lifetime, including substantial donations to the Cleveland Orchestra.


The AFM's Electronic Media Services Director Dick Gabriel has retired after more than 35 years of service to the AFM. Gabriel first served as recording rep for Local 47, and later became head of the AFM's West Coast Office and Director of the AFM's EMSD. The AFM has appointed Bill Thomas to succeed Gabriel. Thomas has worked for ASCAP and most recently served as the executive director of the Los Angeles chapter of AFTRA.


Both the Atlantic Classical Orchestra and the Boca Symphonia have made their Eissey Campus Theatre debuts. The ACO will hold four free open rehearsals at the theatre this season to introduce itself to the community, while the Symphonia will present two run-out concerts.


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