Fire crews responded to the two-alarm fire, but a sprinkler system put out any flames before fire fighters arrived, Civic spokesperson Susan Chicoine told Playbill.com. Although there is water damage confined to the backstage and basement, the seating area and house were not affected.
"They have not determined the cause and they are still assessing the damage," Chicoine said, adding that Little Women was expected to make its tour launch there Aug. 30, as scheduled.
Maureen McGovern stars as Marmee in the musical, which appeared on Broadway earlier this year.
A report about damage to Little Women's scenic elements was not immediately available. “Little Women is all about spirit, perseverance, and strength in the face of adversity. I think this has only made the production stronger,” said Pete Sanders, spokesperson for the show. “Our extraordinary company of actors feel even more in touch with the soul of the show, and we believe it will render a more poignant experience for everyone involved on stage and in the audience.”
Several inches of sprinkler water collected in the basement of the 40-year-old downtown venue, built as part of the convention center. The theatre's capacity is 2,967. The San Diego Union newspaper reported that the fire was reported at about 3:50 AM (PT). Crews found a smoldering curtain behind the stage and smoke coming out of the building.