A re-tooled production of the Broadway musical featuring a score by Phil Collins and a book by David Henry Hwang was to premiere in Atlanta Jan. 16-25, 2009, prior to playing engagements at the American Musical Theatre of San Jose in February and Dallas Summer Musicals in March.
"Like most performing arts organizations, the recent economic turmoil has severely affected our ticket sales and as a result our cash flow," said Theater of the Stars president Nick Manos in a statement. "As much as we love this show and have the greatest faith in our creative team and actors, it is impossible for us to continue with this exciting but intricate and expensive project at this time. Therefore, we have reluctantly decided to postpone the production indefinitely until economic conditions improve sufficiently to allow the show to be produced in an appropriate scale and manner."
The official announcement of Tarzan's postponement by Theater of the Stars follows the closure of the American Musical Theatre of San Jose, one of the co-presenters of the musical's regional premiere. American Musical Theatre of San Jose stated that Theater of the Stars canceled Tarzan without notice after AMTSJ provided the theatre with a quarter of a million dollar advance for the intended production.
AMTSJ also claims that the funds allocated were spent not on Tarzan but on another Theater of the Stars production that lost a significant amount of money. The advance, in addition to the loss of anticipated revenue from Tarzan, forced the American Musical Theatre of San Jose to close its doors earlier this week. AMTSJ is currently seeking legal action against Theater of the Stars.
While Theater of the Stars has not directly responded to claims made by AMTSJ, Theater of the Stars' Nick Manos stated, "We have a long history of artistically and financially successful co-productions with other professional theaters around the country, and this is the first production that we have not been able to complete. A great deal of time, energy and money have gone into this production, and we are saddened that those efforts will not immediately come to fruition. However, cancellations are a part of the fabric of the theater business, and we are working with the other theaters on repayment plans for their pre-production advances."