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New Snapple Theatre will House Perfect Crime

The long-running mystery hit Perfect Crime will continue to intrigue audiences in a new theatre--the Snapple.

Named after the drink, the Snapple Theatre Complex will be a two-theatre complex off-Broadway partially in the place of a former educational facility on Broadway and 50th Street.  "Its first tenant, Warren Manzi's mystery play Perfect Crime, which has performed in seven venues since opening in 1987, will continue its run in one of the spaces, named the Duffy Theatre. The show must leave its former location -- an erstwhile burlesque house above the Howard Johnson's restaurant at West 46th Street and Broadway, also named the Duffy -- because the building will likely be razed by its new owner," according to Backstage.

Perfect Crime star Catherine Russell (who has starred in the play from its opening) has reportedly been in discussions for the last four years with Steven Jarmon, the company's vice president of marketing resources, about the theatre project.   In 2003, the drink, which was first sold in Greenwich Village, was proclaimed "the official iced tea of New York City."  The company plans to wrap an "illuminated ribbon billboard" around the theatre.

The Snapple would follow theatres names after cars, hotels and aviation companies (such as the Cadillac Winter Garden and the American Airlines Theatre). Yet "while the Snapple Theater Center concession stands will offer a full line of Cadbury products, such as Dr Pepper and 7-Up, "they will not be placed in the play," added Lauren Radcliffe, public relations manager for Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages, which manufactures Snapple.  She also stated that the five-year partnership of A Perfect Crime and Snapple will help the running costs of the play.

While Actor's Equity union spokesperson Maria Somma said that Equity "does not take a position on the naming of theatres," She did state that "a corporate sponsorship in this manner -- especially in this climate of funding cutbacks for the arts -- can have a trickle-down effect that can translate into improved compensation for the actors or improved, state-of-the-art facilities."


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