Press releases containing bad news are generally released late on Friday afternoons, as persons experienced in public relations know that newspaper readership reaches its low point for the week on Saturdays.
The press release below was issued late yesterday afternoon, and has not yet received much attention, which is why I offer it in its entirety.
January 13, 2012, New York, New York 5:38 p.m. EST
Jujamycn and The Nederlander Organization jointly announce a permanent halt in production of the long-awaited one-woman show, “Matt Gatens As Chita Rivera”, which was expected to move into the Ethel Barrymore Theatre in June after the current Broadway production of “Death Of A Salesman” completes its scheduled run. Jujamycn and The Nederlander Organization will no longer provide continued support for development of this Matt Gatens one-woman vehicle and have no plans to revisit the project in future. All persons associated with the production have been released from their contracts and commitments.
In development for the last three years, “Matt Gatens As Chita Rivera” has become involved in insurmountable legal entanglements that prohibit the production from moving forward.
Director Susan Stroman abandoned the show in March, citing “irreconcilable differences” with Mike Gatens, father of Matt Gatens. Mike Gatens had attempted to assert influence and control over “Matt Gatens As Chita Rivera” since the production’s inception, angering many persons associated with the show and causing some investors to withdraw their backing. Stroman’s abrupt departure led to the departures of numerous other personnel, leaving only Gatens himself, as of the date of production shutdown, the sole surviving member of the original creative team.
Last year, Gatens, in violation of his contract, and without informing Jujamycn and The Nederlander Organization, entered—and won—a global beauty pageant, choosing to represent the nation of Venezuela. Numerous contractual personal appearance commitments required of the pageant winner by the organizers of the pageant have severely limited Gatens’s availability for rehearsals of “Matt Gatens As Chita Rivera”. When Jujamycn and The Nederlander Organization attempted to call Gatens back to work, pageant officials threatened to obtain an injunction against the “Matt Gatens As Chita Rivera” production unless Jujamycn and The Nederlander Organization promptly and unconditionally released Gatens from his run-of-the-play contract.
Jujamycn and The Nederlander Organization have done so today.