Offstage in Burnsville: A lot of drama

  • Article by: ROHAN PRESTON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 4, 2010 - 7:53 PM

The new Burnsville Performing Arts Center has an agreement for three musicals with a man whose past includes jail time for fraud.

  • 48
  • Comments

  • Results per page:
eaganoneNov. 4, 10 9:39 PM

should be held on stage. Mayor Kautz would finally get the center stage she so richly deserves.

12
0
cmvolkmannNov. 4, 1011:32 PM

The 2009 Operating Loss was $1,023,804 not $533,599 as stated in the story. It is convenient for the city to include only the costs for which VenuWorks in responsible. The depreciation is only on the books of the City and is reflected on page 36 of the 2009 CAFR report available at Burnsville.org. Under reporting the losses makes it look better for the Mayor.

10
1
vonfeldtNov. 5, 10 1:42 AM

The article contains inaccurate facts, critical omissions and misleading statements. It is true that I plead no contest to misdemeanors three decades ago for false advertising in a case where I did not personally receive any funds...it was not a fraud case. The characterization that MAME has "run into problems" is true only in the sense that this production like all complicated musical theatre almost always encounters challenges along the way. The statement that the Sunday performance was cancelled because of poor ticket sales is simply not true. When it became apparent that the highly complicated Kennedy Center set, all five 53' trailer's worth, could not be loaded out in time to accomodate magician Rob Lake two days after our closing, the fifth show on Sunday night was eliminated. There are still four performances Nov 5-7th. It also allowed us to lower the royalty on the show....100% of the Sunday night ticket buyers moved to one of the other four shows. It's true that 20% of the cast quit, not unusual in community theatre. But that represents only six people. One was distraught after having her wedding cancelled on the first day of rehearsals, another required an operation on her colon....a third wished to watch her father run the NY Marathon...and one thought the part she had personally selected, Sally Cato, was not meaty enough. The article attempts to paint a false picture of a troubled production simply because amateur actors change their mind for personal reasons. Almost all community theatre productions lose actors. A three-week rehearsal period is not uncommon and certainly would not be deemed "short" by people in the theatre business for a musical that pre-cast six actors playing lead roles that had just done the show a few months before, include the actress playing Mame. Conveniently omitted is the fact that two years ago I produced and directed a production of "A Christmas Carol" at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles with Christopher Lloyd and John Goodman. Though the post-Xmas dates were sparsely attended, all sixteen performances were held. It's dumbfounding that the piece fails to mention that the set created for the 2006 Kennedy Center production of Mame has been obtained for use in the Burnsville Civic Light Opera production this weekend. Broadway production values for community theatre prices. Clarifying, the rights were obtained three months ago and there has been only two managing directors not four as stated although an employee of Venuworks did function as an interim director earlier this year. Since the Burnsville PAC has primarily presented high school productions, we invite the public and hopefully Mr. Preston himself to see for themselves that this is a very special production at affordable prices and is not to be missed. I welcome Mr. Preston's comments AFTER he has seen the show. Kevin Von Feldt Producer MAME/Nov 5-7

3
10
theater123Nov. 5, 10 7:37 AM

I simply cannot believe that the Burnsville PAC would hire Mr. Von Feldt when a simple google search would illustrate exactly what he is all about. The internet is littered with new articles, like this one, detailing his various attempts at these kind of things. Inevitably things go wrong and Mr. Von Feldt ends up defending in these over written missives in comment sections. It is truly a shame that the city has decided to waste money on this relationship. He mentions a production of " A Christmas Carol" that was also riddled with problems. His last attempt included using actors in the publicity that had not even signed on to the project. Cast turnover should not be 20% not matter how many private excuses you want to parade out in from of us. And three weeks is ridiculous for a large scale production, in rehearsal. Everything is always some one else's fault. Shame on you Burnsville and shame on you Mr. Von Feldt for calling out you cast publicly but congratulations on scamming another company...it seems, as PT Barnum said there truly is "one born every minute"

11
2
vonfeldtNov. 5, 10 7:56 AM

Your statement that I had used actors in a production of "A Christmas Carol" that had not signed on for is false. Retract it publicly or I will file a John Doe action for damages against you that will force the newspaper to disclose your name so that you can personally be named as a defendant. You haven't even seen the show yet so why prejudge. Come tonight and then comment. Kevin Von Feldt

2
12
theater123Nov. 5, 1010:57 AM

I have no interest in a fight with you...so consider this a public retraction...you are a sad man....and a joke

5
6
surfgirl77Nov. 5, 1012:56 PM

I bet he already plans to run off without paying any of his bills. Just google his name. If Von Feldt spent as much time paying his bills and putting on a quality show as he does attacking people who comment on news stories he might have a show worth seeing. The Star Tribune could have just reposted this article from 2009 http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/culturemonster/2009/01/vonfeldt-kodak.html Von Feldt needs to grow a back bone as well as a brain and heart. Hes a con man

8
1
tsindelirNov. 5, 10 2:14 PM

shows you how desperate Burnsville is to rent this white elephant out

12
1
surfgirl77Nov. 5, 10 3:08 PM

http://articles.latimes.com/1987-08-18/local/me-2273_1_von-feldt

9
1
surfgirl77Nov. 5, 10 3:13 PM

But who is going to Mr. Von Feldts pile of crap show. Not even worth a boycott

10
1

Comment on this story   |  

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT