Music News 6.6.17

Arrests Made in Oakland Ghost Ship Fire Tragedy

Two have been arrested in connection to the Oakland Ghost Ship fire that took place on December 5th of last year. Derick Almena and Max Harris were co-tenants of the art space, and as District Attorney Nancy O’Malley explains, the two are being charged with 36 counts of manslaughter for “knowingly creating a fire trap with inadequate means of escape and filled that space with human beings.”

In a press conference yesterday, O’Malley went on to detail the many ways in which the pair displayed a complete and purposeful disregard for the venue’s fire safety: allowing people to live in the warehouse and large groups to assemble without sufficient means of exiting (on the night of the fire, one of the exists was actually blocked, giving everyone on the 2nd story only one way to escape). They also allowed floor-to-ceiling storage of highly flammable materials in a building with zero fire suppression, all unbeknownst to local fire and police departments.

O’Malley, anticipating mixed feelings on the arrests from the Bay Area’s art community, agreed that the arts community is “a vital and vibrant part of what makes Oakland great, but every single one of the individuals deserves to live and work in a space that is space.” Totaling those 36 counts of manslaughter, Almena and Harris face a 39-year prison sentence.



SpongeBob Musical? You Bet Your SquarePants

Are you ready kids? The SpongeBob SquarePants musical, after debuting in Chicago last year, is coming to Broadway this November. Directed by Steppenwolf’s Tina Landau combined with the designing teams behind Fun Home, Hedwig, and Spring Awakening and outfitted with original songs by David Bowie, They Might Be Giants, the Flaming Lips, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, and more, Bikini Bottom is being brought to life on Broadway.

The plot? As Bikini Bottom is threatened with total annihilation, one unlikely, spatula-wielding, square-panted hero steps up to save the day. SpongeBob SquarePants the Broadway Musical for Everyone previews at the Palace Theatre this November and opens officially this December.


-Taylor Wallace

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