Livent sues over ‘Annie’

Producers dragged to court over advertising costs

NEW YORK — Livent is suing the producers of the North American touring company of “Annie” over allegedly being stiffed on advertising costs for the show. The suit, filed today in the Ontario Court’s General Division, maintains that Classic Annie Prods. backed out of a commitment in mid-August to bring “Annie” to the Livent-owned Ford Center in Toronto.

Classic Annie Prods. is a partnership comprised in part by Broadway producers Rodger Hess and Tim Childs, and Jujamcyn Theaters prexy Rocco Landesman. “Annie” was to have run at the Ford Center from Sept. 9 through Sept. 20.

A source familiar with the suit said an Aug. 14 press release canceling the run that was issued by Classic Annie intimated that Livent was not capable of adequately promoting the show.

Livent maintains it had very much hyped the show, taking out more than $150,000 in advertising, and now wants to be paid for that advertising. The suit, according to an insider, names Classic Annie Prods. and seeks $150,000 to $200,000 in reparations for unjust enrichment, breach of contract and defamation of and against Livent. The Toronto-based Livent had allegedly taken out advertising for the show, with a 15% overage — an advertising coordination and placement fee. The suit seeks to recoup that amount as well.

Mark Hayes, Canadian counsel to Livent, declined to comment on the suit, as did Rodger Hess of Classic Annie. Calls to Childs went unreturned; Landesman’s office said he was out of the country and unavailable for comment. Also named in the suit are TMG Marketing & Publicity and the Gotham-based Booking Group. Calls to executives at both TMG and the Booking Group were not returned.

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