Blaming Economy, Alabama Shakespeare Cancels 2009 Production of Les Miz

News   Blaming Economy, Alabama Shakespeare Cancels 2009 Production of Les Miz
Alabama Shakespeare Festival announced on Dec. 17 that due to the sagging economy, its summer 2009 production of Les Misérables, the large-cast musical epic, has been canceled. A drop in both season ticket sales and donor support were cited.

"Although the prized rights to produce Les Misérables were secured by ASF for 2009, they will no longer be available in 2010," ASF announced in a statement. "The cancellation was announced to the theatre staff last week and Les Miz ticket buyers are being contacted by mail and phone early this week. The theatre is currently looking for a new summer musical which will cost less to produce."

ASF stated, "Although it was believed that Les Miz would draw unprecedented audiences, a recession-driven drop in ticket sales and donor support has left ASF unable to justify such a costly project. Les Miz would have cost $1.3 million to mount in Montgomery. The current, critically acclaimed production of A Christmas Carol: The Musical, a Broadway family holiday extravaganza for all ages with a full orchestra, which cost over $900,000 to produce, has drawn smaller audiences than productions of Peter Pan and Disney's Beauty and the Beast in previous seasons."

ASF is offering "deals" on tickets for the remainder of the Christmas season.

Les Miz ticket buyers can contact a special ASF phone line or e-mail address to move into another show or obtain a refund.

Patrons can call (334) 271-5313 or e-mail ticket *

The remainder of ASF's 2008-09 season includes A Christmas Carol: The Musical through Dec. 24; Bear Country Jan. 9-Feb. 15, 2009; The Furniture of Home March 6-April 5, 2009; The Three Musketeers April 24-June 7, 2009; Othello May 1-June 7, 2009; A Comedy of Errors May 8-June 6, 2009.

The Alabama Shakespeare Festival is among the largest Shakespeare theatres in the world. Designated as The State Theatre of Alabama, ASF has been located in Montgomery since 1985 when it moved from Anniston as a result of Mr. and Mrs. Wynton M. Blount's gift of a performing arts complex set in the 250-acre Wynton M. Blount Cultural Park.

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