‘Starlight Express’ on track in Mexico City

MEXICO CITY — Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Starlight Express” is scheduled to start rolling Thursday in Mexico City, with the backing of the exhibition chain Cinemex.

Cinemex and its partners have invested roughly $1 million in the legit production, plus another $2.5 million in remodeling of the theater that will house the show for what producers hope will be an extended run.

Executive producer Fernando Morett has previously produced a number of Lloyd Webber shows, among other productions.

Cinemex, the biggest film exhib in Mexico City, owns a 50% interest in the venture and has acquired a 10-year lease on the theater. Depending on the run of “Starlight Express,” the chain will continue to have an interest in legit, either with plays or other productions, said exec Matthew Heyman. “This is not our core business, but it is an interesting new area for us.”

In addition to its investment, Cinemex will operate all “front-of-the-house” activities, for which it will receive a management fee, and will also sell theater tickets via Cinemex box offices around the city.

Producers hope “Starlight Express” will attract a public for whom theater is normally not accessible. To pull in a wider audience, ticket prices range from about $11 to $24.

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