• walt828

    I’ll make a deal with you, Jay and Tom — when you start an organization with an $8M building, I’ll write a nice article about YOU. But while you keep doing plays in 99-seat OOB sites, just keep your comments in check.

  • TomRipley

    This guy basically chose a city he could be a big fish in a small pond, opposed to being just another “theatre guy” in Brooklyn. What did help him, is that Des Moines is one of those mid-sized cities that likes to think it’s an international major city, so if you throw in some alternative events, they’ll get more mileage there than most places, or even a liberal college town. Include the fact that Des Moines is a heavily groupthink oriented city, and there wasn’t a better place to play pretend.

    • walt828

      The NYC Myth continues. “Big fish-small pond” BS. When are you people going to give it up. In a country the size of ours, centralizing theatre in a single city is madness. I really don’t understand why NYers find it so necessary to sneer at people who have success elsewhere. The magazine is called “American Theatre,” not “New York Theatre.” Get a life.

  • Jay

    Ok, the headline made me think this was an Onion article. I can’t believe it was seriously typed or
    that this guy uttered that to anyone. It’d
    be like if I said the dirt is blue and the sky is brown. Want to donate? I’ve heard a lot of terrible things about this
    guy too. He probably picked Iowa because
    the people are nice and trusting and thought it would be the easiest place to
    steal people’s money. It’s a good bet
    not to trust anyone from NYC.

    • walt828

      Sheesh, Character assassination. There is something wrong with you people.

  • TK

    Too bad your article covers all the highlights while kindly ignoring the facts. Mannheimer was fired from his first job as a sommelier for harassing customers who he targeted as potential donors. Or that he sucked dry so much of the financial support given by private companies to local arts organizations that those organizations are now struggling. And since questions have arose about some bookkeeping issues at the DMSC, Mannheimer has stepped down as executive director. Has the DMSC achieved what he couldn’t in NYC – using theatre to somehow bring together un-likeminded people? Nope. Theatre productions in the DMSC are routinely overpowered by rock concerts scheduled simultaneously in the basement just below the theatre. Des Moines could have invested in a much more state-of-the-art regional arts facility by supporting local artists. Instead, they were taken in by the ‘Rainmaker’ Mannheimer, his gladhanding smooth talk, essentially bankrupting the DSM arts community. Somehow, you missed all that in your research, Mr. Walters.

    • walt828

      I wrote a piece appreciating what I believe to be an extraordinary accomplishment, and not a muckraking expose filled with innuendo from an anonymous commenter. While Mannheimer’s personal focus was on theatre, his vision was not solely of a theatre building but of one that served all the arts, INCLUDING rock concerts. I can hardly blame him for acoustic problems in a renovated space, although apparently you feel you can. I’m sorry you find his work problematic — I suspect Des Moines arts community had an opportunity to create the more “state-of-the-art regional arts facility” before he arrived, and they didn’t get it done. He did. Your comment smacks of sour grapes.

      • j boggs

        …speaking of sour grapes…! Face it, you were simply revealed to be some fool who just didn’t do his homework, did he, Scotty? PS- It’s possible to schedule competently, you know, such that a rock concert is not drowning out a simultaneously occurring theater piece, no:? Jim Keeler

  • htkatt

    Interesting story. One note. Nationwide Insurance is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. The Nationwide office in Des Moines is a regional headquarters. That might be worth changing online.