Checking In With the City-Run Majestic Theater, Which Is Getting a Bit of a Facelift
|Office of Cultural Affairs|
|From the stage, a view of the Majestic Theater's auditorium, barely visible through the scaffolding|
Maria Munoz-Blanco, director of the city's Office of Cultural Affairs, says this is the Big Finish to a long few months' worth of repairs, which also included giving the building a watertighten-up. "We're going to fix some of the plasterwork that needs to be fixed," she says. "And it looks incredibly dramatic because to get to the balustrades they had to build scaffolding from the bottom up."
Munoz-Blanco says the work should be done by the end of August, and in mid-September the play The Diary of Black Men will begin a run originally scheduled for July. After that, Benny Hinn's got an event planned. And after that ... well, look, let's just jump as the OCA director talks about how it's going now that the city's running the Majestic.
Long story short: The city officially took over the Majestic beginning last November, with that Sarah Palin-Rick Perry event the first event under OCA's watch. I asked Munoz-Blanco how it's going -- especially with the theater out of commission for a while.
"I think in the first year -- and, remember, we started late, in November -- revenue from the Majestic has covered 70 percent of the expenses related to the operation," she says. "We did OK. We did 65 events with 100 days of use, give or take, which is about our goal."
She points to several events forthcoming: Dallas Black Dance Theater's Dance Africa, which runs two days in early October, and that Anthony Bourdain appearance later that month (which, she says, isn't sold out but is getting awful close). There's another eat-n-tell scheduled in November with Cake Boss Buddy Valastro.
Then there are the two big October fund-raisers: Clint Black's got an October 22 date on behalf of the UT Southwestern St. Paul Medical Foundation, and Jay Leno's in a week later for CitySquare's annual Big Event. Munoz-Blanco also says a New York producer's looking to give a would-be Broadway production a month-long tryout. (She said what it is, off the record, and I'm trying to confirm -- it's interesting, let's say that.)
"The Majestic's going back to its Vaudeville roots," says the OCA head, who's actually based out of the Majestic, lucky. "We're doing a bit of everything. And when you work here, you fall in love with the building. You can't help it."