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‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ performances canceled at The Rep

Posted: June 2, 2014 7:17 p.m.
Updated: June 2, 2014 7:17 p.m.

The Repertory East Playhouse shuts down its production of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" following a disruption of the production Saturday night. Signal Photo by Katharine Lotze

Persistent heckling from an audience member during a performance of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” led to the shut-down of the production’s remaining Santa Clarita Valley run.

“We had a heckler. He was drunk,” said Anton Troy, who played the part of Brick Pollitt — a part made famous by Paul Newman in the Oscar-winning screen version. “He heckled me all through the first act. He booed me every time I spoke,” Troy said in a phone interview Monday.

The heckler’s comments during Saturday night’s performance at The Repertory East Playhouse included homosexual slurs, Troy said, and when the heckler used an inflammatory slur on the character of Big Daddy, played by actor John Lacy. “John couldn’t handle it anymore and he broke character,” Troy said.

“He said ‘What did you say?’ And, at that point, the guy (heckler) stands up and says, ‘What are you going to do about it?’”

A friend of the cast seated in the audience “grabbed him bouncer-style and threw him out of the theater,” Troy said.

“I physically did what everybody else wanted done,” said Tim Sullivan, who ejected the patron. “It’s nice to see that Tennessee Williams is still causing sparks.”

“It was grade A, restaurant-quality bad assery,” Lacy said on his Facebook page of the ejection.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene, Deputy Josh Dubin said, but the heckler and his companion were gone and there was nothing to be done.

Troy says Ovington Michael Owston, executive director of The Rep, fired Lacy. That convinced him to quit as a show of solidarity, he said, and some other actors did the same.

“I’m not going to support that kind of homophobic behavior, and I’m going to support my friend (who was) fired,” Troy said.

Owston declined to comment, referring to a statement on the theater’s website, which states: “An incident during the May 31 performance has resulted in cast members leaving the show with no time to adequately re-cast their parts.”

“We are extremely sorry that our patrons experienced this disruption and will do our best to make it up to those holding reservations for canceled performances.”

“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” was scheduled to run through June 14.
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt




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