The final curtain has fallen abruptly on the American Musical Theatre of San Jose.
The group sent out a press release today announcing that it will cease operations effective immediately and that their productions of Tarzan and 42nd Street and the presentations of touring shows Chicago and Avenue Q have been canceled.
Here is more information from the press release:
“We received a telephone call a few days ago from our co-producer for Tarzan, which was the Theater of the Stars in Atlanta, Georgia basically telling us that they had used all of the funds that we had paid them towards the production for other things,” said Michael Miller, CEO and executive producer of AMTSJ. “In essence, they cancelled the show without giving us any warning, and we discovered that the funds we had paid for Tarzan were spent on another production of theirs, which lost a significant amount of money,” Miller continued.
Added Robert Nazarenus, AMTSJ’s chief financial officer: “The cancellation of Tarzan meant nearly a $2 million dollar loss to us. The disappearance of the six figures that we paid to Atlanta’s Theater of the Stars in good faith coupled with the huge loss of revenues we anticipated from Tarzan was just too much to overcome, particularly in these economic times.” Nazarenus went on to say “Despite the harsh economic times, we were operating prudently, and had a solid strategic plan in place. We have always found a way to succeed, with quality productions, patron loyalty, and community support. This season was no different. But, when you in essence lose nearly two million dollars, it is impossible to recover. What makes this even more frustrating is the fact that this is caused by the wanton actions of another theater company.”
AMTSJ’s local attorneys, coupled with strong legal representation hired in Atlanta, are pursuing aggressive action against Atlanta’s Theater of the Stars. Miller and Nazarenus indicate that they will pursue AMTSJ’s claim to its successful conclusion. “We are devastated for this community, our staff, and most of all for our loyal patrons,” Miller said. “It is especially frustrating because of how hard we have worked, how sound our plan going forward has been, and because of the history and heritage of the American Musical Theatre of San Jose. This is a sad moment for all of us. We will aggressively pursue our claim against the Theater of the Stars to recover whatever money we can to pay the City of San Jose, our vendors and our loyal patrons for their good faith investment in AMTSJ.”