COLUMBIA — The Missouri Theatre will open its doors for audiences once again this month, but only for an evening.
A musical show titled “Who’s Afraid of Classical Music?” is scheduled for Saturday night. Alex Innecco, music director at the Missouri United Methodist Church and co-owner of the multicultural arts space Carpe Diem, is the conductor.
The calender of activities on the Missouri Theatre's website shows the following events for the coming months:
Sept. 23, Jazz Big Bands presented by the MU School of Music
Sept. 25, Who's Afraid of Classical Music? An Evening with Alex Innecco presented by the Missouri Symphony Society & the Columbia Chorale
Oct. 1, Symphonic Wind Ensemble presented by the MU School of Music
Oct. 7, University Philharmonic presented by the MU School of Music
Oct. 14, Columbia Public Schools Foundation Hall of Leaders Gala
The event is intended to benefit the Missouri Theatre. Innecco said that after covering the operational costs, proceeds will go to the theater.
He said he had confirmation about using the space from the theater administration, but needed to contract labor to handle sound equipment and other aspects of the show.
“We talked with them, and they said all they could do for us is open the doors and turn on the lights,” Innecco said.
The theater has been closed since Aug. 1 to manage a financial crisis, according to an earlier Missourian report.
In an Aug. 27 court ruling, the theater was to pay $386,090.70 to Huebert Builders, the main contractors of a renovation project that has already put the organization $2.5 million in debt.
The theater’s board of directors has held its silence since the ruling. Their refusal to comment continues to keep the theater’s future shrouded in mystery.
The president of the theater's board of directors, Christina George, has said that all outstanding contracts will be honored.
Innecco said he wasn't aware of the board's plans but knew they were considering several possibilities.
“I believe that they are trying very hard to get out of this situation, but it’s just tough,” he said.
He hoped the public, as well as local city government, would step forward to help save the theater.
“I don’t think we have a choice,” he said. “The future of art in Columbia is in danger. There must be a political solution to this problem.”