‘STOMP’ is Staying Put at the Orpheum, but Must Cough up $2.2M Fine
STOMP is staying put, after all. An arbitrator’s ruling in December prohibits termination of its lease.
A year ago, the long-running production informed the landlord of the Orpheum that the production would leave the building for an unnamed theater in Times Square. Off Broadway going Broadway. The disheartening news came at a bad time – mere weeks after the Second Avenue Explosion across the street.
STOMP claimed the decision to depart hinged on the stench of “sewage” in the lobby, lack of functioning air conditioning systems, terrible bathrooms, disgusting carpets, and influx of rats.
Liberty Theaters (aka Reading International Inc.), owner of the Orpheum, quickly counter-sued, and sought an injunction to prevent the move. Even though Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Jeffrey Oing denied their legal maneuver last April, arbitrator Eli Mattioli was the monkey wrench. He issued a judgment back in December that nullified the notice of lease termination, and also prohibited the “transferring or taking actions to market, promote, or otherwise facilitate any transfer of STOMP to another theatre in New York City having fewer than 500 seats without Liberty’s prior written consent.”
Ergo, STOMP will remain at the Orpheum on Second Avenue, its home since the show began in 1994. The production must pay a $2.2 million fine to cover Orpheum’s legal fees in the case, according to the New York Post.