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Radio City Slapped With Suit Over Easter Show

A breach of contract suit over Radio City Music Hall’s Easter season production has been filed in Delaware, alleging the Music Hall’s production company has failed to live up to various provisos in its partnership agreement with an investor.

Defendant, the Easter Show LP, was formed to acquire, own and exploit the rights to produce and present the “Easter Extravaganza” with Radio City. Members of the partnership say that they invested about $5 million in the ESLP and that various assurances were given that Radio City would exploit ancillary, merchandising and road show opportunities, including a tour of Japan, with appropriate revenues going to ESLP.

Shortly after the agreement was signed, Mitsubishi purchased the controlling interest in the Rockefeller Group, which owns Radio City. As a result, the suit alleges that various Music Hall parties informed ESLP that part of the Mitsubishi deal required Radio City to relinquish its rights to Japanese tours. Suit alleges attempts were made to coerce the group into waiving its rights to both finance and produce Radio City show tours, since Mitsubishi precluded any need for additional investors, and to reduce the 14-year deal to three to five years.

When ESLP did not accede, the suit claims the defendants began employing delay tactics, such as postponing the budget for the 1991 production to make it impossible for ESLP to have any input. Various instances of budget padding are alleged, as well as the fact that only $45,000 of a promised $300,000 sponsor investment occurred.

Suit seeks to enjoin Radio City Music Hall Prods. and co-defendant Spectacular Prods. from mounting national or international tours, granting ancillary rights or pursuing other merchandising agreements for the show. It also seeks compensatory and recisionary damages to plaintiffs.

Radio City execs were not available for comment.

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