The Norman Transcript

December 20, 2013

Weitzenhoffer says cause of theatre ceiling collapse unknown

Norman resident grateful no one was killed in incident

By Katherine Parker
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Max Weitzenhoffer, Norman resident and prominent Broadway and London theatre producer and co-owner of the Apollo Theatre in London,  said Friday he is very grateful no one was killed in the Thursday evening collapse of Apollo Theatre’s ceiling. 

“It’s a very unfortunate accident,” Weitzenhoffer said. “I’m very grateful that no one was killed in the incident.”

The partial collapse of the Apollo Theatre’s ceiling occurred during a performance of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” at about 8:15 p.m. Plaster and masonry rained down on audience members, injuring more than 75 people with seven seriously injured. The cause of the collapse is under investigation.

Weitzenhoffer said the theatre is over 100 years old, opening its doors in 1901, and that repairs on the building are part of the regular upkeep. Preliminary examinations of the building have found the rest of the theatre is structurally sound, Weitzenhoffer said, but that beyond that nothing is known. 

“We don’t know anything right now,” he said. 

Weitzenhoffer is a University of Oklahoma Board of Regents member. He is a highly acclaimed independent producer of New York and London theatre productions and has won numerous Tony, Olivier, Evening Standard and Drama Critics awards. 

He graduated from The University of Oklahoma with a BFA in Drama and has served many professional organizations including the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation, President of New York's Circle Repertory Company and is a member of the league of New York Theatres & Producers.

Weitzenhoffer has been actively involved with The University of Oklahoma on several levels including major financial gifts to the Athletic Department, the College of Fine Arts, the Fred Jones Jr. Museum, Schools of Drama and Art as well as helping create the Department of Musical Theatre, which bears his name.

Katherine Parker