By Katherine Parker
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Max Weitzenhoffer, Norman resident, 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.
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. Authorities inspected all 52 of London’s famous West End theaters on Friday to reassure theater-goers that the venues are safe, the Associated Press reported. The Westminster Council reported that the Apollo Theatre’s health and safety checks were up to date, and London police have ruled out criminal activity, the Associated Press also reported.
Weitzenhoffer said the theatre is more than 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 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 and the President of New York’s Circle Repertory Company, and he is a member of the league of New York Theatres & Producers.
Weitzenhoffer has been actively involved with OU on several levels, including major financial gifts to the Athletic Department, the College of Fine Arts, the Fred Jones Jr. Museum and Schools of Drama and Art, as well as helping create the Department of Musical Theatre, which bears his name.
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