New Orleans’ Saenger Theater originally opened in 1927 as a vaudeville palace, and struggled through the ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s as a movie theatres accommodated changing tastes. In 1977, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and was renovated for the large musical theatre tours of the ‘80s and ‘90s. Since then, Katrina damaged it in 2005 and it was again renovated and reopened in 2013. As officials plan an implosion on the Hard Rock site across the street, the theater building sits idle. The final week of performances of Wicked were cancelled as emergency officials determined its proximity to the site dangerous. Additionally, the roof of the Saenger may have been compromised by a breach from the Hard Rock Hotel construction site crane collapse Saturday, October 12.
Today on The Work of Art, Don Gandolini joins us. Gandolini is International Representative for IATSE and a prominent member of Local 39 in New Orleans - IATSE is the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees, which provides artisans and local labor for entertainment productions around the world and here in and out of the Saenger Theater.
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