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Play on Jesus Withdrawn From Starlight

June 11, 1987|GREG BRAXTON | Times Staff Writer

The manager of Burbank's Starlight Amphitheatre has pulled the plug on plans to stage a high-tech extravaganza on the life of Jesus Christ.

Tim Pinch, under contract to manage the city-owned Starlight, says he has withdrawn a proposal to stage "A Man Named Jesus" next year because the production would be too big for the 6,000-seat amphitheater.

"It became apparent . . . that the play finally outgrew our facility," Pinch wrote last week in a letter to Burbank Park and Recreation Director Richard Inga. "There was just simply too much that needed to be done in order to present the play next year. I finally made the decision that the sustained impact on the neighborhood surrounding the facility was going to be too great."

Plan to Help Theater

Last month Pinch proposed staging the play six nights a week from May 1 to Oct. 31. He said it would revitalize the Starlight, plagued in recent years by financial and legal troubles.

Pinch said the play, billed as a high-tech extravaganza, would feature 100 actors, recorded dialogue and classical music. He said the play's producer, Peter Sailer, had wanted to spend $5 million to $6 million to stage the production, including at least $1 million in improvements to the Starlight.

Although police and some city officials had expressed concern about crowds and traffic, the proposal had won tentative approval from Burbank officials.

"We were trying to make it fit, and it wouldn't," Pinch said. "It's a terrific play and deserves to be that big and grandiose. It was just too wonderful to happen."

Pinch, who has been working on the proposal since last year, said he has not devoted much time to this season's programming, which was scheduled to begin May 1. Pinch said no plans for any shows have been announced.

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