Press rep suing Goodspeed

Eisen filed suit last week in Middletown, Conn.

HARTFORD, Conn. — A veteran New York press rep is suing the Goodspeed Musicals in East Haddam, Conn., for breach of contract and nonpayment of services.

Attorneys for Max Eisen, New York press rep for Goodspeed Opera House since 1976, filed suit last week in Middletown Superior Court in Middletown, Conn. Suit also names Goodspeed exec director Michael Price and board prexy DeRoy Thomas.

According to the complaint, Thomas and Goodspeed board chairman Robert Neal failed to respond to an attempt in April to resolve the matter, which Eisen characterized as “theft of services, unfair trade practices” and “might also involve age discrimination.” Eisen is 85.

Eisen said he is due $35,000 and is asking for $50,000 including legal fees.

Price said he verbally told Eisen three years ago to cease the relationship, and a written letter severing the relationship was sent in the middle of last year notifying Eisen of the termination of services.

Eisen, who has repped more than 100 Broadway shows as well as scores of Off Broadway and regional productions, said he continued his services for Goodspeed, which the theater accepted, and that he has not been paid since 2000.

Eisen said he has continued to chauffeur New York theater and national critics to the East Haddam and Chester theaters from six to 10 times a season.

Goodspeed’s new theater plans were announced last month with the leadership of the city of Middletown, saying it would raise $40 million to build the new Goodspeed facility downtown, 15 miles from the Goodspeed Opera House’s location.

With the theater paid for by the city, Goodspeed will undertake a $20 million campaign of its own to build a nearby production and administrative center in Middletown with the goal of opening both buildings in 2008.

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