Bay Area Broadway Producers Announce Settlement, Ending Five-Year Legal Battle

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The refurbished Curran Theater in 2017. (Photo: Cy Musiker/KQED)

After a protracted legal battle, the Bay Area’s two biggest Broadway theater producers say they have made peace.

The owners of SHN and The Curran issued a joint statement on Monday, announcing an “amicable settlement” that draws to an end five years of litigation involving three San Francisco theaters: the Curran, the Orpheum and the Golden Gate.

“We are thrilled to put these legal matters behind us, and continue doing what we do best: provide Bay Area residents and visitors with world class entertainment,” said Curran owner Carole Shorenstein Hays and SNH owner Robert Nederlander in their statement.

The settlement comes nearly two months after the Supreme Court in Delaware, where both companies are incorporated, ruled that the Curran had violated the terms of its 2014 non-compete agreement with SHN.

Under the terms of the new settlement, Hays has relinquished her financial stake in the Golden Gate and Orpheum theaters, and both parties may now book their respective venues without restriction.

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That applies to the upcoming production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, scheduled to open at the Curran in October. The show, along with the Curran's 2018 run of the Broadway hit musical Dear Evan Hansen, were at the heart of the recent lawsuit.

The news was greeted positively by members of the Bay Area theater community, including Theatre Bay Area, a regional service organization for the performing arts.

"We are thrilled to hear that two of our most prominent members have worked out their differences," said Theatre Bay Area executive director Brad Erickson. "And that Bay Area residents and visitors alike will continue to be enriched by the world-class theater offerings of these organizations."

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