Space 55 Called a "Drug House;" Theatre Responds With a Middle-Fingered Merry Christmas Greeting

A scene from Space 55's A Bloody Mary Christmas
A scene from Space 55's A Bloody Mary Christmas
Michael Markowski

Everyone seemed to heart the closing performance of Space 55 Theatre's A Bloody Mary Christmas, save for three no-shows from Buckeye.

According to an e-mail sent to New Times from Space 55 co-owner Shawna Franks, three dissatisfied customers had purchased tickets to the venue's sardonic-ish take on yuletide. After dinner and a church date at Saint Mary's Basilica, the parties showed up to the rough-around-the-edges venue at 636 East Pierce Street, and they didn't like what they saw.

"It looked like a drug house, and there were some thugs outside smoking, and looked like a drug deal going on," the message states. "We left due to the conditions, and would like a refund for our 3 tickets."

Space 55 decided to give the trio a refund, but not without some, uh, holiday cheer, courtesy of Space 55 co-conspirator Bob Fisher.

Dear [Name Withheld],

Space 55 Theatre has been forwarded your request for a refund for not attending the Space 55 Theatre closing night show of A Bloody Mary Christmas.

Showup.com, where you purchased your tickets, has a posted no refunds policy. In your special case, however, Space 55 will make an exception. Space 55 itself generally gives refunds to people who ask for one at or before the time of the show; people who show this courtesy allow us to resell the seats. You did not do this. Nevertheless, in your special case, we will be happy to make an exception.

You tell such a compelling story of a lovely evening which was then ruined. The drive from Buckeye, the dinner, and especially Mass in the Basilica -- adding these details really helped us understand you, and how wronged you must have felt.

We can understand that, especially after a Christmas season Mass in a Basilica, the last thing you wanted to encounter was a theatre space like ours. So lowly. So sub-standard. So . . . manger-like.

We can assure you that there were no thugs outside our theatre, and no drug deals going on there. Still, after a beautifully reverent Christmas season Mass in an ornate Basilica, we can understand how difficult it must have been for you to encounter people who were different from you. We can only imagine how these urchins and their shabby clothes, their long hair, their facial hair, and even their brown skin, must have chilled you to the bone. You shouldn't feel bad; it's an historical fact that those features -- and especially that brown, Nazarene-like skin -- can cause an instinctive belief that you are dealing with a criminal element.

From somewhere in history, we can remember the tale of a long haired, bearded, robe-wearing, brown-skinned freak. The good people had to finally murder that fatherless bastard. Just to keep the peace. So be assured that we completely understand you.

When customers pre-purchase tickets for a Space 55 show, as you did through Showup.com, we believe they are going to show up. So we held our entire audience, and our entire closing night show, for ten extra minutes, waiting for the three of you just as the Blessed Virgin herself might have tried to wait for the Three Kings. But eventually our show was crowning; we could hold it back no longer, and it forced itself out through the blameless curtains.

We will be sending a check to your Buckeye address refunding the amount of $33.00, which is everything you paid less Showup.com's service fees.

Our theatre was just not the right place for you. There is a better place for people like you, people who would be hateful and self-righteous, and would cast judgment, and would still expect to receive a later reward.

It's called a church.

Merry Christmas,

Space 55 Theatre


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