Modern Turkey lacks support in the performing arts. In many cultural cities all over the world, people have made a habit of going to theatres and various performances regularly. However, such an attitude has not set itself in our country yet. Theatre companies are in extremely difficult positions. They continuously try to attract as many people as they can to their shows but are left with a very small audience. When I went to the ”Tiyatro Karnavalı”, a theatre company in Mecidiyeköy, to watch the play ”I Had Seen This Movie”, I was shocked. The play was amazing! It was intelligent, smart and very entertaining but had no more then 30 people the audience. After I came face to face to face with this situation I began to lose hope for the development of theatre in Turkey. Even though it is possible to find some plays to go to, it is nearly impossible to find any musicals to go to. However, Zorlu Center has opened the gate to a world of possibilities. Istanbul has gained a new art center in Istanbul.
Zorlu Center PSM, has the honor of being Europe’s biggest stage. By bringing world-wide famous musicals and other performances to Istanbul, it is aiming to build a new Broadway art center.
The first production in November, coming from Broadway, is the ”Jersey Boys”. Jersey Boysis about the band Four Seasons, consisting of four young men, and the rise, the tough times they went through and their music, which became significant and essential to it’s generation .This Broadway musical won Tony, Grammy and Olivier and Helpmann awards in addition of 54 international awards. Some of the familiar songs that have become hits from the musical are “Sherry”, “Big Girls Do Not Cry”, “Rag Doll”, “Oh What a Night”, “Begin” and “Can not Take My Eyes Off You”.
The next two musicals that will be performed in Zorlu Center are “Cats” and “Notre Dame de Paris”.
This center which will have more than 400 performances in its first season may be the key to awaken the interest in the performing arts in Turkey. Could it be the beginning of a new era or will it simply be a momentary, passing whim that will be forgotten in a few months. Only time will tell.