The curtain fell Monday on one of the South Bay’s longest-running cultural institutions, as American Musical Theatre of San Jose announced it was ceasing operations and filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

AMT officials say the decision was not prompted by the ongoing economic meltdown that affected many arts groups nationwide but, rather, by the collapse of the touring production of Disney’s “Tarzan” that the AMT was mounting with theaters in Atlanta and Dallas. Still, the company was running a deficit of more than $2 million, according to its latest tax statement, and had received a $1 million bailout from the city in 2006.

I read it here.

I worked for AMT probably once every two years. I was first call for any oboe/English horn books. (I don’t double on the other winds.) I loved it. In some ways it was like vacation for me, as so many of the shows were non-stressful. I loved playing musical theatre. In the 70’s I worked in the box office there (as it’s formerly named “San Jose Civic Light Opera”).

I will miss this. A lot.


  1. I’m heartbroken over this news, especially since the bulk of the damage seems to have been done by another theater. I haven’t agreed with all of AMT’s management decisions lately, although I thought they were getting back on the right track. But aside from that, it’s a huge loss to the South Bay. Nobody else was presenting large-scale professional musical theater in the area.

    And on a purely personal note, I had hoped I would work for them some day.

  2. It’s all so WRONG. It makes me sad. It makes me angry. And of course it also scares me.

    The thing is, San Jose is really a musical theatre sort of town, you know? More than symphony. More than opera. And then it fails.

    My only hope is that some other company in the bay area decides to grow and moves into that barn of a theatre or … better yet, but nearly impossible … move into the California Theatre. (That’s just selfishness on my part; it would mean I could do it without conflicts with symphony and opera.)

    And yes, I would have LOVED to see you at AMT, Mike. Megan too. I’m really dismayed. And very, very sorry.