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EAST VENTURA COUNTY FOCUS

THOUSAND OAKS : Arts Plaza May Host Broadway Musicals

July 27, 1994|STEPHANIE SIMON

The longest-running musical in Broadway history, "A Chorus Line," could hit the Thousand Oaks stage in January if theater commissioners tonight approve a contract with Phoenix, Ariz.-based Theater League.

The proposed contract calls for Theater League to produce three musicals in Civic Arts Plaza's inaugural season: "A Chorus Line" in January, "Annie" in April, and "42nd Street" in May.

As long as Theater League sells at least half the seats for each show, the group will also have the right to produce Broadway musicals in the 1995-96 season, or to bring in touring shows such as "Cats" and "Les Miserables."

To rent the 1,800-seat auditorium, Theater League will pay $1 per subscriber for each week of performances or rehearsals. The minimum weekly rent has been set at $5,000, theater director Tom Mitze said.

Theater League's three song-and-dance extravaganzas will replace the six Broadway shows originally slated to be produced by Pasadena-based Theater Corp. of America. That group withdrew from the Civic Arts Plaza earlier this year, citing financial troubles.

Although Theater Corp. of America's abrupt departure left a gaping hole in the Civic Arts Plaza's programming schedule, Mitze said dozens of groups have appeared to fill the slots. And he predicted that Theater League's shows will pack the house.

"I think they're going to be Thousand Oaks' cup of tea," Mitze said. "They're bringing in the most successful, most popular musicals in Broadway history. Shows everyone has heard of." Tickets will cost $15 to $30 for subscribers who intend to see all three shows. Other prices will vary depending on the date and time of performance and the location of seats.

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