Bill Cosby’s Show Must Go On, Says Tarrytown Music Hall

Update (12/4/14): The Tarrytown Music Hall has announced that Bill Cosby’s performance has now been postponed and patrons will be receiving a full refund on their tickets.

As the saying goes: the show must go on.

Despite the current controversy regarding allegations of sexual misconduct by well-known comedian, author, and actor Bill Cosby, the Tarrytown Music Hall said Friday it would not be canceling the performer’s upcoming show scheduled for December 6.

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Patrons who had asked for their money back in protest were also reminded that the theater has a blanket no-refunds policy.

“We understand your hesitation in light of the recent allegations against Mr. Cosby, but are unable to make exceptions to our ‘no refunds’ policy for this show,” said Tarrytown Music Hall Executive Director Björn Olsson.

According to Olsson, the matter is even further beyond the music hall’s control than would normally be the case. That’s because Cosby’s show isn’t being presented directly by the Tarrytown Music Hall, but by New Jersey-based production company AM Productions. According to Olsson—who spoke highly of previous performances brought to Westchester by AM Productions—the music hall cannot cancel the performance due to contractual obligations, and is simply holding the ticket sales for the production company responsible for bringing Cosby to Tarrytown.

“Bill Cosby will get paid no matter what. We are not privy to the details of the contract between Cosby and AM Productions, but this is a very expensive show to put on. Issued refunds would hurt AM Productions and The Music Hall, but not affect Mr. Cosby’s guarantee,” Olsson said in a press statement.  “A few people have demanded that we cancel the shows altogether. As stated above, Mr. Cosby would still be entitled to his fee from AM Productions, which would then be forced to demand damages from the Music Hall. This would be a tremendous blow to this non profit organization, most likely forcing us to lay off staff and reduce family programming and our subsidized rental fees to local arts organizations.”

Cosby’s in-the-works NBC comedy project and some of his other comedy shows, including one at Las Vegas’ Treasure Island hotel-casino, have been canceled, according to the Associated Press. Reruns of The Cosby Show have also been taken off TV.

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While Tarrytown Music Hall has made clear it has no official statement on the allegations brought against Cosby, Olsson said that patrons who wished to make an official protest by not showing up could have their names added to an “empty seat list” which would be sent to Cosby’s agent or manager.

Update 12/2/2014, by Chris Sommerfeldt

The Tarrytown Music Hall announced on its Facebook page that it would offer full refunds for all ticket holders. Additionally, the once sold-out show listed 746 of its 843 total seats as available Tuesday morning, according to its real-time ticketing service.

The music hall, which initially said it would be unable to give refunds for financial reasons, was able to work out a deal with AM Productions, the company brining Cosby to Westchester, according to Tarrytown Music Hall Executive Director Björn Olsson.

“We were able to get all involved parties to agree to share the financial burden of the refunds,” Olsson said. “I think everyone finally realized it was the right thing to do.”

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In addition to declining sales, Olsson said Monday that the venue anticipates protests outside the venue on the day of the show.

“[We] will handle the situation as we see what’s there,” said Tarrytown Police Lt. William Herguth, who was notified by Olsson about the potential protests, according to the Journal News. “Something could be going on and we’ll have a police presence there.”  

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