Sunday's newspapers will include advertisements for two different shows playing March 11-12 at the same one-stage Canon Theatre in Beverly Hills.
According to one ad, Lynn Redgrave's one-woman "Shakespeare for My Father," currently being presented at the Canon, has been "extended to March 12!," while another ad, for "Forbidden Hollywood," proclaims the new revue is "coming March 11 to the Canon Theatre."
The discrepancy stems from a dispute between Redgrave's producer-director-husband John Clark and the Canon's executive directors, Joan Stein and Susan Dietz.
Redgrave's show opened in mid-December. Clark said Thursday that the Canon operators told him when he rented the theater that he could extend Redgrave's show as long as he kept paying the rent, pending any decision by the then-owner of the building, Gucci, to close the theater. Clark now intends to extend the run "at least through March 12."
In a brief statement released Thursday, Stein refuted Clark's claim, saying that the show was booked "for a limited run through Jan. 29, and per a written notice from the producer, extended with a closing set for Feb. 26."
According to Clark, Stein and Dietz sent him a fax in early February ordering him to move the show out as of Feb. 26. He says they told him that if he did not, they would remove his equipment for him. Meanwhile, Stein and Dietz had completed a deal for another show, "Forbidden Hollywood," to follow "Shakespeare" at the Canon.
"Forbidden" producer John Freedson said that his lease begins March 4, and he has scheduled the first preview for March 11.
Clark claims that "Shakespeare" will still be there on that date. But it may be difficult for him to sell tickets. A salesperson on the Canon reservations phone line on Thursday claimed no tickets were selling for "Shakespeare" after Feb. 26, saying that the March 12 extension--first advertised Thursday--was "a misprint."
In a letter from Clark to Stein and Dietz sent on Tuesday, Clark wrote that he would hire box-office staff to sell tickets to the show for performances after Feb. 26. He said that if the Canon operators refuse to allow him to do so, he will sell tickets at the door instead of at the box office. Clark also threatened legal action in the letter if Canon officials do anything to interfere with his production or its marketing.
Stein and Dietz declined any further comment.
In a separate development that could make the dispute a mute point, the Canon building and nearby properties have been sold to Federated Department Stores, which plans to erect Bloomingdale's West Coast flagship store on the Canon block, according to a non-binding letter of agreement signed between Federated and and the city of Beverly Hills last Tuesday. More details about that deal are expected to come from a City Council meeting next Tuesday.