Ordway Center for the Arts has canceled its big summer musical, a locally produced version of "Groundhog Day" that was a cornerstone of its Broadway season.
The theater cited funding considerations for scotching the show, which would have cost "at least a million dollars," according to Ordway communications director Toya Stewart Downey.
"Every effort was made to put the musical onstage," she said. "We were counting on partnerships to help defray costs, but the partnerships didn't materialize. We've reached out to actors and staff and ticket holders."
The Ordway has about 4,000 season subscribers. Ticket holders have three choices: trade for another Broadway offering at the Ordway; get a gift certificate to any Ordway show; or get a refund.
A stage adaptation of the 1993 film starring Bill Murray, "Groundhog Day" transferred to Broadway in 2017 after a successful London premiere that won the Olivier Award for best musical. But it closed later that year, and plans for a national tour never materialized.
It was scheduled to run July 21 to Aug. 9 at the Ordway with an all-local cast of 21 under New York director Martha Banta. No shows have been booked in that calendar slot, according to Stewart Downey.
Last summer, the Ordway staged its own version of "42nd Street," which did not "perform to financial expectations, although we were incredibly proud of what the artists achieved," she said.
The Ordway development is bad news for local actors, designers and other members of the theater community who were counting on a summer paycheck. The community had already been shaken by the cancellation of several shows at Park Square Theatre, including the musical "Evita," because of a budget crisis at the St. Paul nonprofit.
Stewart Downey said the Ordway is committed to supporting Twin Cities talent and will have three locally produced shows in next year's lineup, set to be announced March 23.