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Questions swirl around who’ll fill Marty’s white dinner jacket

The Brooklyn Paper
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Someday, Borough President Marty Markowitz will have to hang up his signature white dinner jacket and say so-long to the concert stage.

When he does, he hopes to leave behind a $64 million, 8,000-seat amphitheater — the Coney Island Center — at Asser Levy Seaside Park.

Opponents of the plan are ready to go to court to block that possibility.

With four years left in his third term as borough president, however, it remains unclear exactly who will step in to to fill Marty’s place as the Seaside Summer Concert Series’ master of ceremonies.

The beep, now 64, has produced concerts in Brooklyn - featuring the likes of Liza Minnelli, Gladys Knight and most recently Deborah Harry - for the last 30 years.

“I would love to take them over someday,” City Councilmember Domenic Recchia told this newspaper.

Recchia has produced his own concert series at Asser Levy Seaside Park each summer since 2002.

“We concentrate on the seniors,” the councilman said. “People in my community love the free concerts. It’s a night out.”

Billed as free, the best seats in the house at Markowitz’s Thursday night shows actually carry a $5 “rental fee.”

Markowitz has told nearby neighbors that in the future, shows at Asser Levy Seaside Park will probably come with a price tag and a private promoter.

“I pay the stars, but they perform for free for you,” Markowitz told Manhattan Beach residents last June. “Only in Brooklyn – no place else. Why? Because I started them 31 years ago. But that’s not going to be the future.”

Recchia insists that music lovers won’t be soaked for cash.

“They’re not going to charge $80 a ticket,’ the councilman said “It will be a nominal fee.”

If Markowitz has specific plans for his eventual successor, he isn’t saying. When asked about it, he merely said, “I have four years to ponder this.”

Recchia might be eager to don the white concert jacket himself, but he says he doesn’t believe Markowitz will be bowing out anytime soon.

“Marty Markowitz will be doing the shows for many years to come - even when he leaves office,” the councilman said.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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