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Facing daunting financial obstacles, Pasadena Playhouse set to close Feb. 7

January 29, 2010 | 12:20 pm

Pasadena The Pasadena Playhouse -- one of the most respected theater institutions in the country -- will close its doors on Feb. 7 as leaders attempt to solve the company's financial problems.

Stephen Eich, the executive director hired last June to run the theater, said the company is out of cash to continue running and faces more than $500,000 in immediate bills. On Thursday, the company notified 37 staff workers that they would be out of a job.

"Camelot," which began its run at the playhouse this month, will be the final production at least until the company finds a way out of its financial predicament.

Eich also stated that he doesn't know if current ticket subscribers will be reimbursed for the remainder of the season.

Other productions that were announced for the current season include "Havana," a new musical by Pulitzer Prize-winner Nilo Cruz; Frank Tangredi's "Pastoral"; Noel Coward's "Fallen Angels"; and Donald Margulies' "Sight Unseen."

The playhouse owes more than $1.5 million in bank loans and other debts that have dogged the nonprofit company since the mid-1990s.

Founded in 1917, the playhouse is recognized as one of the most prominent regional theaters in the country and boasts alumni including Gene Hackman and Dustin Hoffman.

Read the full story here.

-- Mike Boehm and David Ng

Photo: Pasadena Playhouse. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

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