Just days after Garth Drabinsky finally got his day in court, Aubrey Dan has launched a lawsuit against rival impresario David Mirvish:
Claiming conspiracy, fraud, a breach of the Competition Act and irreparable harm, Toronto theatre impresario Aubrey Dan is seeking an injunction to block the sale of the Canon and Panasonic Theatres to his downtown rival, David Mirvish.If only for Dan's colourful quotations, I hope he doesn't get squeezed out of the Toronto market.
The application, filed Monday in Ontario's Superior Court, alleges that the sale, if consummated, would violate Mr. Dan's prior agreements with John Gore's New York-based Key Brand Entertainment, which bought the two theatres from Live Nation in January.
“Going to court is like going to the bathroom,” Mr. Dan said Wednesday. “It's necessary, you gotta do it. It doesn't scare me one bit. I have the resources.”
Of course, the Mirvishes have their own theatrical style as well. David M. fired back this afternoon by having a press conference, where he:
A) Said that Dan's lawsuit was without merit;
B) Announced he wasn't closing We Will Rock You after all, but moving it into the Panasonic Theatre; and
C) Brought the cast of We Will Rock You on to sing Queen's We Are the Champions ("No time for losers, cuz we are the champions... of the world.").
Does Dan have a case? If Mirvish does own the Panasonic, the Canon, the Princess of Wales and the Royal Alex, they will have a virtual monopoly on downtown theatres... But does that violate the Competition Act? I really don't know.
It will be interesting to watch how this all plays out, but I do believe that Dan is right when he says that competition is good for the consumer. (We've seen that already in Mirvish's upped-ante 2008-2009 season.) Toronto deserves more than one big commercial producer - it just remains to be seen if this town is big enough for the two of them.