The upcoming Atlanta production of “Dreamgirls” has been cancelled due to the financial struggles of Theater of the Stars (TOTS).
The troupe — which has operated for 61-years — currently is in the midst of an emergency $1 million fundraising campaign, and is operating with a $650,000 debt. “Dreamgirls” is the second production to be cancelled, following the jukebox musical based on the life of Buddy Holly called “Buddy,” which was scheduled to open this month.
“Dreamgirls” was initially scheduled to run at the Fox Theatre from August 2-11. In a statement, TOTS said it had terminated its lease with the Fox so the theater can fill the vacancies left by the two cancellations. The two parties have, however, “agreed to move forward with an at-will usage arrangement,” according to the statement.
TOTS announced late last month that it needed to raise $500,000 by July 12 and another $500,000 by the end of August, or it would be forced to close its doors. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the overall total of funds raised is around $350,000. As of now, the next TOTS production — “The Little Mermaid” — is still scheduled to happen.
The theater troupe said it is in talks with its investors to make that musical happen. It is scheduled to run September 7-15, also at the Fox.
The statement said that the real need of the troupe was not money to cover the large debt, but enough cash to open the season. For anyone that purchased a ticket to “Dreamgirls” by credit card online or by phone, a refund will be given automatically within 5-10 business days. Those that purchased tickets through the Fox should contact the theater to obtain a refund.
The original “Dreamgirls” musical opened on Broadway in 1981 and ran through 1985. A film adaptation was released in 2006 starring Jamie Foxx, Beyonce and Eddie Murphy.