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ARTS NOTES

Gang needs new (or cheaper) digs

January 30, 2005|Don Shirley

The Actors' Gang is considering a move.

The pugnacious theater company's Santa Monica Boulevard digs in Hollywood were sold last fall, and the new owner, Jack Khorsandi, wants to charge a rent the troupe can't afford, according to its managing director, Greg Reiner. Negotiations with Khorsandi were continuing last week.

The Gang's lease ends June 30. Preparing for a possible move, company officials have turned to Community Redevelopment Agency staff from the city of Los Angeles and officials from other cities in Los Angeles County, hoping to find a warehouse space that could be converted into a theater. Reiner says the Gang would like to buy a space or work with a city to buy a space. If that possibility doesn't pan out, the Gang would consider staying put, says artistic director Tim Robbins -- but only if Khorsandi raised the rent no more than "slightly" above the current $5,100 a month.

Robbins and Reiner dismiss rumors that Gang co-founder and frequent funder Robbins might transplant the company to a site near his New York City home. "The subject hasn't come up," Reiner says.

"What would be convenient for me is not convenient for the group," says Robbins, who's participating in the search for a possible new space in L.A.

Khorsandi says he would love for the Gang to stay -- and even if they leave, he would like to keep the space active as a theater. But the Gang occupies about a third of a property on which his mortgage payments are $20,000 a month, he says, "and there is no way I could afford keeping them here at the amount they have been paying."

The Gang has scheduled two shows, "Tartuffe" and "Blood! Love! Madness!," before the lease expires.

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