Off-Broadway theater building booming

March 1, 2004 at 12:58 PM

NEW YORK, March 1 (UPI) -- The recent opening of 59E59 in midtown Manhattan marks acceleration in the building boom that is bringing a score of new stages to off-Broadway.

The new 59E59 is a three-theater complex that will be the home of the non-profit Primary Stages company.

Currently under construction is another three-theater center on the far West Side adjacent to the Broadway theater district. It will house the Intar Hispanic Theater group and the Ensemble Studio Theater and is due to be completed in 2006. In the same neighborhood Dodger Theatricals, a major production company, is transforming a five-movie theaters conglomerate beneath the Worldwide Plaza for stage productions to begin next fall.

Also in the planning stage are three new theaters in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan's West Side, a project of producers Jeffrey Seller, Kevin McCollum and their associates whose puppet musical, "Avenue Q," is a current off-Broadway hit.

The boom began last year when Theater Row, a series of five new theaters, was opened next to a new Playwrights Horizons theater complex of four theaters.

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