Do not mourn loss of Princess of Wales
The Princess of Wales Theatre is being torn down and I will shed no tears over its passing.
Don’t get me wrong, it was a gorgeous facility from every point of view, but the city of Toronto never really needed it and so I have no trouble supporting David Mirvish’s bold new plan for the Entertainment District that calls for its elimination.
It’s interesting that when the announcement of Mirvish’s intention to demolish the theatre became public knowledge on Saturday, there was a rush to judgment by a lot of people, pronouncing it a body blow to the cultural life of this city.
It’s no such thing. Here’s the simple fact: there are currently too many large theatres in Toronto and this excess has actually been damaging to our cultural life over the past few years.
Look around us: the Princess of Wales, the Royal Alex, the Sony Centre, the Elgin, the Winter Garden, the Ed Mirvish, the Panasonic, the Toronto Centre for the Arts.
Can you think of one time in recent years when they’ve all been filled with shows that people were clamouring to get into?
Yes, it’s true that once upon a time, there weren’t enough large sized venues in this city to accommodate the mega-musicals that threatened to swallow up the theatrical life of the world for a time.
But then the pendulum swung too far in the other direction.
Between 1989 and 1993, a total of six new theatres opened in Toronto with a combined capacity of 9,211 seats
The Princess of Wales was almost the final one of these, opening its doors on May 26, 1993 with a production of Miss Saigon.
To read the full article: http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/onstage/article/1264693--do-not-mourn-loss-of-princess-of-wales-ouzounian