There's sad news for fans of live performance in Los Angeles. The word is out that the Steve Allen Theater in Los Feliz will be torn down to make way for a new building. Take Two's Alex Cohen spoke with Amit Itelman, founding artistic director.
"It's been 14-15 years now and we've been doing shows— a lot of comedy, a lot of horror, a lot of music, a lot of uncategorical works."
"The theater is closing and it's retaining its underground status. We never really took off and I think there were a lot of advantages to that. A lot of of great performers wanted to have a venue where they could take risks and where they could do shows without being filmed. Where they'd workshop material without being reviewed. Without too many people knowing about it. So, Eddie Izzard and Marc Maron and Bill Burr and Laura Kightlinger— and all these really wonderful performers have done a lot of work there and developed a lot of material there."
"It's gonna happen fast— the end of July. And I think they're going to tear it down for condos....We're not the first theater to close, we're not the first venue to close. It's happening all the time. You could say it's gentrification. It's change. And I don't think you can really fight that. So, I'm not looking necessarily to approach the end of the Steve Allen Theater from a point of sadness or bitterness about change. I don't think anything can stop that."
"I've been working on a show called Bride of Blood which is a psychedelic bibliodrama. I've been working on it for 4 years.... That'll be the last run. I actually want to recreate the big bang on stage. I don't know how I'm going to do it but that's how I want to go out, with a big bang."
Quotes edited for clarity.