Stomp to Leave East Village After 21 Years, Theatre Cites Breach of License Agreement

News   Stomp to Leave East Village After 21 Years, Theatre Cites Breach of License Agreement
 
Stomp, the musical that has been playing Off-Broadway's Orpheum Theatre since 1994, will be able to move to a new uptown location, thanks to a Manhattan judge ruling on April 30. The court's ruling will allow the production to discontinue its contract and move on to a new theatre.

According to press representatives, Stomp producers had made numerous maintenance requests to the owners of the Orpheum, such as fixing the air conditioning, upgrading the rest rooms and improving the carpets, but producer charge that these were not met.

"Stomp did not want to move [but] it smells like sewage" in the lobby, Glenn Spiegel, the show's lawyers said, according to court papers.

The Orpheum lawyers argued that they had been in the process of making the repairs and that the Stomp producers should allow the theatre some more time before their departure. Their primary concern is that the venue will suffer financially without the show.

"As much as Stomp values its time in the East Village, the fact remains that the show needs a safe and properly maintained space for its audience, staff and cast," a press representative told Playbil.com. "Perhaps the question really should be directed to Liberty Theatres as to whether they have abandoned the neighborhood by neglecting the building, despite repeated requests by Stomp to make necessary repairs."

Liberty Theatres countered with the following statement to Playbill.com: "After a successful 21-year relationship with The Stomp Company, they informed us that they are seeking to breach their license agreement with Liberty Theatres on what can only be described as purely fabricated grounds. Our hope is that for the good of the production and all crew and cast members we are able to reach resolution swiftly so that Stomp can continue to entertain audiences in the theater it has called home since its very first show in 1994." Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Jeffrey Oing was quoted in court papers as saying, "At the end of the day, you can’t hold them hostage forever."

Stomp, a musical that makes its music using matchboxes, garbage cans, brooms and other riff-raff collected off the streets of East Village, began previews Off-Broadway at the Orpheum in February 1994, home to other downtown hits such as Little Shop of Horrors and Oleanna. This year marks the show's 21st anniversary at the Off-Broadway house. 

Performances were interrupted in late March 2015 when a building across the Second Avenue was destroyed in an explosion and fire, and fire officials closed the block for several days.

For more information on Stomp, visit stomponline.com.

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