The Real Deal Miami

GableStage to run renovated Coconut Grove Playhouse

County commissioners approved more modest plans for playhouse
April 22, 2015 03:45PM

The Coconut Grove Playhouse

The Coconut Grove Playhouse

The GableStage theater company is set to take a lead role in operating the Coconut Grove Playhouse.

The nonprofit reportedly received unanimous approval from Miami-Dade County commissioners on Tuesday to operate a 300-seat theater at the playhouse. The group is currently housed in a 150-seat theater at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, and will move to the playhouse once its tax-funded renovations are completed, the Miami Herald reported.

The GableStage deal was rivaled by another group, which proposed plans for a 700-seat theater at the playhouse with famous actor Kevin Spacey coming on board, possibly as an artistic director. That faction, led by Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts chairman Mike Eidson, dropped out of the running after a county official convinced Eidson to postpone his plans, the Miami Herald reported.

But the county is keeping his proposal as an option. Commissioners voted to hire architecture firm Arquitectonica at the Tuesday meeting, and one of its directives was to investigate the possibility of building an additional 700-seat theater, the newspaper reported.

Some playhouse activists are advising the county not dismiss the Spacey version of the plan. The actor had a large part in reviving London’s Old Vic theater as its artistic director, and could bring in an array of acting big shots to the Grove Playhouse. [Miami Herald]Sean Stewart-Muniz