Albuquerque's Major Civic Theatre Loses History in Warehouse Fire

News   Albuquerque's Major Civic Theatre Loses History in Warehouse Fire
 
Musical Theatre Southwest, the 50-year-old Albuquerque, NM, community theatre that counts stage star Neil Patrick Harris among its veterans, saw its entire history engulfed in flames May 25, according to media reports and friends of the theatre.

A warehouse containing the company's inventory of costumes and props, as well as its archival videotapes and DVDs, was destroyed. There were no injuries. The building was also a rehearsal space for the troupe, which presents its shows elsewhere.

"We may have lost our inventory but we have not lost our will, our spirit and our soul," Gary Bearly, president of the Amigos, the volunteer group of the company, wrote in an email to supporters. "Our history is long. From ALO to Albuquerque Civic Light Opera Association to Musical Theatre Southwest the names may have changed over the years but our determination and will as Albuquerque's most notable producer of musical theatre lives on. In short, WE WILL CONTINUE."

The MTS production of Thoroughly Modern Millie will go on as scheduled in July.

The costume, prop and scenic backdrop collection, created and gathered over a 50-year period, was a revenue stream for the company, which rented pieces to other companies.

According to tv.com, Emmy nominee Harris (Assassins, Proof, Rent, "How I Met Your Mother") performed at the theatre in 1988, when it was known as the Albuquerque Civic Light Opera Association. He played John in the company's production of Peter Pan. Shortly after that, Harris started his run as the boy-genius doctor on the sitcom "Doogie Howser, M.D." To offer donations or support, call (505) 265-9119 or visit www.musicaltheatresw.com.

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