By Joseph Pratt
“Peter and the Starcatcher,” one of the leading Broadway performances of the 2014-2015 performing arts season of the Southern Ohio Performing Arts Association (SOPAA), has been canceled.
In the show’s place, the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts (VRCFA) and SOPAA have arranged for a performance of the musical “Memphis” on Monday, April 20, 2015. The show falls in the same week “Starcatcher” was supposed to, in hopes of timing being perfect for patrons.
Winner of a Tony for Best Musical, Memphis is based loosely on the real life Dewey Phillips, who was one of the first DJs to play black music on the radio in the 1950s. Set in the underground clubs of Memphis, TN as the first sounds of rock n’ roll, blues and gospel are emerging into the mainstream, a young club singer suddenly finds unimagined new opportunities. Through the determination of the DJ, he brings her voice and music out of the clubs and onto the airwaves of America.
“Memphis was originally one of the musicals we considered for this season. We were very lucky to be able to secure a date in April so close to the date we are replacing,” said VRCFA Director Joe Patti.
People who have already purchased tickets for” Peter and the Star Catcher” will be able to use their tickets for the exact same seats at Memphis, as well as receive a discount on non-subscription shows such as “The Intergalactic Nemesis” and Garrison Keillor. If patrons are unsatisfied with the replacement, they are also able to request a refund.
While Memphis is an exciting show that was a top contender to be included in the season, VRCFA and SOPAA recognize it isn’t the show people expected to see and apologize for the inconvenience. Letters have been sent out to ticket buyers explaining their options and will contain stickers they can place on the tickets to remind them about the date change.
Patti wanted to stress that complications are rare for SOPAA and the VRCFA concerning their already finalized season. He said a strong agreement was already in place, but some incidents are unforeseen and have to be worked around.
“We actually had a contracted deal memo with the company, but they came upon problems with the tour,” Patti said. “The agency had been licensed for this tour and then something happened with the people who actually own the rights of the property.”
While the cancellation was an unforeseen incident, Patti said he and the board moved swiftly to provide Memphis as a replacement and hopes it is something that the patrons are pleased with.
To learn more about Memphis and options available to Peter and the Star Catcher ticket holders, please visit www.sopaa.org.
Joseph Pratt can be reached at 740-353-3101, EXT 1932, or @JosephPratt03.