Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Market Theatre

I was having dinner with friends last night, celebrating a birthday at "Upstairs on the Square", that truly lovely restaurant in Harvard Square.

As I sat in their dining room, I realized that this was the former home of the short-lived, but awesome Market Theatre, the brain-child of affluent theatre-lover Greg Carr, which had, I think, two short, adventurous seasons before closing to become the home of the aforementioned restaurant.

We were seated in what was the old lobby, and where the tiny stage was is now the restaurant's bar.

I remember I was in their first show, "The Imperialists at the Club Cave Canem", a very experimental piece by Charles Mee, directed by his daughter Erin. It featured the very cool band Neptune making some crazy sound sculptures in between scenes.

I had a short monologue at the top of the play called "Rindecilla", which was quite fun.
I went to visit Charles Mee's web-site to try and find it, but it's no longer there (it was before, I swear!)

Btw, you can go there to check out Charles Mee's plays (and re-write them, if you wish).
Here's the web-site:

He wrote this about his plays, which I like:

"I like plays that are not too neat, too finished, too presentable. My plays are broken, jagged, filled with sharp edges, filled with things that take sudden turns, careen into each other, smash up, veer off in sickening turns. That feels good to me. It feels like my life. It feels like the world."

And you can find out more about Neptune at: www.neptuneband.com


  1. The Market Theatre was a much needed addition to the Boston scene - a fairly heavily funded theater start-up that what not financially attached, indirectly or directly, to BU or Harvard - at least not to my knowledge. They used local talent and were committed to premieres.

    The production values were generally fantastic for the space, although the quality of the material could vary greatly, in my my opinion.

    I remember seeing you, John, in those Shel Silverstein short plays, right?

  2. Oh Hi Art!
    I'm so glad it's you and not someone I pissed off. I have to be careful what I say about "Gypsy".
    Yes, I was in those plays too, it was great fun, a terrific cast (Marin Ireland, before she became a huge star!) and yes, not everything they did was thru the roof great, but man did they take risks.
    As for how it started, I believe the story goes (I actually read this in a New Yorker piece about Greg Carr) that Greg Carr was walking around the Square with Robert Brustein one day, and Brustein saw the space and mentioned it might make a great theatre, and Greg Carr just made it happen. I believe he is a very powerful man: invented Prodigy or something like that and then sold it for a gazillion dollars. Now he is a philanthopist concerned with Africa, so I don't think he produces theatre anymore, which is a shame, he had really good taste. He also owns/built the space where Zero Arrow is (was), which was a wonderful theatre, until it became a titty bar.


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