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Thursday, May 18, 2000

Producers cancel national tour of Selena musical

Lost revenue from L.A. venue's cancellation leaves future uncertain

Associated Press

SAN DIEGO - The stage musical "Selena Forever" is unable to continue its national tour because of lost revenue from canceled shows in Los Angeles, a co-producer said.
   The musical based on the life of the murdered Tejano singer was supposed to play May 4 at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles.
   Disagreements between promoters and producers prompted the cancellation.
   "The Los Angeles date was a very, very important date for us financially, and the proceeds from that engagement we were counting on for cash flow to keep on going," producer Michel Vega said Wednesday. "It's been completely crippling to us."
   The musical played in five cities and was scheduled to tour San Diego and Minneapolis and had interest from about 10 other cities, he said.
   "I'm really sorry that we're not playing in San Diego," Vega said.
   "It was looking to be one of the more successful dates so far. We're really bummed out."
   In Los Angeles, promoter Emily Simonitsch blamed producers for the cancellation. She said they wanted a two-week run, but she would only agree to one week.
   Simonitsch did not return phone messages Wednesday.
   Producers accused the promoter of abandoning the show due to low advance ticket sales.
   It was unclear if the musical would be able to recover financially and resume the tour, Vega said.
   Selena Quintanilla Perez rose to stardom and won a Grammy during the boom of Tejano music in the early 1990s.
   She was on the verge of crossing over into the English-language pop market when she was killed in 1995.
   Yolanda Saldivar, the ex-president of her fan club, shot the 23-year-old Selena to death at a Corpus Christi motel.
   Saldivar was convicted of murder and is serving a life prison sentence.
   The play traces Selena's early career as a youngster performing at fairs up to her stardom.
   It includes some of her well-known hits, including the upbeat "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom," plus original songs written for the musical.
   Veronica Vazquez, 24, of New York City, and Rebecca Valadez, 20, of San Antonio, portray the adult Selena in the show, which also focuses on her family life and love life.

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