by Tony Rutherford , HNN Entertainment Editor
"Odd Couple" Brings Down Final Curtain on Huntington ARTS

Arts Resources of the Tri State (ARTS) will bring own the final curtain after the Oct. 21 production of "The Odd Couple," directed by retired MU theater professor Gene Anthony, once a regular on ABC's "All My Children" soap.

The dinner theater productions have been playing to sell outs for the last several years.

However, ARTS has been sued for back rent by Huntington High Limited Partnership, LLC.  According to the complaint the group pays $3,500 per month for facilities. The address for Huntington High Limited Partnership coincides with the Huntington Housing Authority.

The Board of Director posted the following on their Facebook page Monday evening Oct. 9:

"The Board of Directors voted tonight that Arts Resources for the Tri-State has run its course. The Odd Couple will be the final production produced by ARTS.

Board members feel that there is still a need for quality adult theatre in our area, and encourage anyone with similar opinions to reach out to our Secretary Jinnie Knight here on Facebook.

Thank you all for the support of ARTS over the past 17 years, and for the memories you all allowed us to make."

Bill Neal , a director, declined further details to HNN. But he did confirm that the suit is public knowledge. He said there had not been a settlement that required eviction of the group. 

HNN specifically asked since ARTS shows generally sell out whether the suit against the non profit was the reason for closure. 

Back in the late 80s, Mayor Jean Dean demolished the unsafe Abbott Theater on 14th St. W. where Community Players productions were performed. A fire had damaged the building. 

One ARTS alum posted:

The arts became a friend to me at a strategic point in my life. I was given a second chance to dream again through theater because of the wonderful people I had the privilege to perform with. Thank you for that gift.

George R. Snider III , who operates the Murder & Merriment traveling interactive mystery dinner theater group, saluted Bill Neal, Gene Anthony, Mike Murdock, Stephen Nance, Eddie Harbert and "all the other directors that put together quality casts and marvelous shows." Adding the void will be hard to replace, Snider credited "The Fantastiks" as "my second favorite Huntington show that I've seen in the last 15 years."