Disputes Cancel Broadway Shows

SALISBURY – Citing conflicts between Wicomico County and a management company, performances of “The Sound of Music” and “Jersey Boys” at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center have been cancelled.

In a statement on Monday, the county announced neither show will be rescheduled. “The Sound of Music” production was scheduled for May 13, and “Jersey Boys” was postponed on March 28 and had yet to be rescheduled.

This week’s announcement comes more than a month after ticket holders arrived for a performance of “Jersey Boys” at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center (WY&CC) and were stranded outside for hours while staff inside tried to correct a technical issue that ultimately cancelled the show.

The cancellations announced Monday are the result of an April 30 letter received from NETworks – the management company of both shows – listing demands of Wicomico County in a short timeframe and including concerns about the safety of the venue, according to the statement.

Steve Miller, director of recreation, parks and tourism for Wicomico County, dismissed the company’s claims in a statement this week.

“Since 2009, the county has partnered with Broadway in Salisbury and successfully and safely produced 47 shows at the Civic Center,” he said. “The notion that the building is unsafe is simply not true.”

Adam Epstein, CEO of Innovation Arts and Entertainment – the producers of Broadway in Salisbury – agreed.

“We have complete confidence in the safety of the WY&CC to host Broadway shows and other programming,” he said, “and we will continue to bring shows to the venue as we have for over a decade.”

Three days after the “Jersey Boys” cancellation on March 28, the county noted the venue successfully hosted a concert for over 3,000 people. In April, the Civic Center hosted Kelsea Ballerini’s Miss Me More Tour and PJ Masks Live! “Save the Day” without incident, as well as many other events for thousands of guests.

In its response to NETworks, the county expressed disappointment with the apparent lack of concern for customers of both shows. According to the county, NETworks unnecessarily delayed the “Jersey Boys” cancellation “without any concern for the welfare of customers waiting to enter the building.”

The county went on to state that “NETworks has further inconvenienced these customers by refusing to respond to offers for a reschedule date despite many efforts on behalf of the County, including a listing of available dates provided the night of the cancellation.”

“Jersey Boys” and “The Sound of Music” ticket holders will be refunded the full purchase price of their tickets, including fees, according to the statement. “Jersey Boys” refunds will start immediately, and “The Sound of Music” refunds will begin no later than May 28.

Customers who purchased online or in person through the Civic Center with a credit card within the last four months will receive a refund to their credit card, while customers who purchased online with a credit card prior to Feb.1 will be issued a check. Ticket holders who purchased with a credit card in person at the box office prior to Feb. 1 and those who purchased tickets in person with cash are asked to call the box office at 410-548-4911 to provide their order number and mailing address.

Broadway in Salisbury subscribers will receive a refund via check or credit card automatically. These customers do not need to contact the Broadway in Salisbury offices.

Customers who purchased through a third party will need to contact that seller directly.

Refund information will also be available online at www.WicomicoCivicCenter.org.

“Our priority is the customers,” Miller said. “We do not want ticket holders to have the same disappointing experience they did the evening of the ‘Jersey Boys’ show and that is what ‘The Sound of Music’ was shaping up to be. We believe that both shows could have proceeded as scheduled.”

Representatives for NETworks did not immediately return a request for comment.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.