Magic show for charity canceled

The charity magic show that was set to premier at Cullen Performance Hall today and Saturday, has been postponed and moved because of what the venue’s technical director, Charlie Matthew, called a miscommunication with Five-One Productions, the show’s organizer.

Matthew said the Hall canceled Robby Bennett’s show ‘Where’s the Rabbit?’ after the student organization UH Dance On relayed incorrect information.

‘There seems to have been some misrepresentation from a member of the student organization about what the charges may have been for an event and what they have communicated to the Five-One Productions group,’ Matthew said.’

The event will be rescheduled for late May at the Hobby Center.

The proceeds from Bennett’s show will to go to the Texas Children’s Hospital where Bennett spent time as a patient.’

Bennett said he originally wanted to have the event at UH to keep production costs down so that the maximum amount of money could go toward Texas Children’s Hospital.’

Rick Shremshock, the executive producer of Bennett’s show, said the price is comparable.

‘As soon as we saw we had a $15,000 balance, we cut everything off,’ Shremshock said. ‘We could have held it at the Hobby Center for what they’re charging us.”

The show in the Cullen Performance Hall was to be a preview of the act Bennett will perform on Broadway and in Las Vegas.’

Chemistry and political science senior Judah Johns is Dance On chairman.’

Johns said he was not aware of any problem with the show’s reservation.

‘In the future, (Cullen Performance Hall) should make sure they cover all their bases with student organizations.’ Johns said. ‘Being on campus, we’re right over at the UC.’

Matthew said the group was aware of the charges to rent the Hall.

‘The initial quote was for $14,956.92,’ Matthew said. ‘That was the estimated cost. It was sent out to them a week or two ago.’

Bennett said while he did receive a bill from the venue, the exact amount due was unclear.

‘I got the bill April 7,’ Bennett said. ‘They kind of formatted it deceivingly because on the first page it said total $1200, and I saw that and said ‘OK.’ And then you keep looking, and it said more than $14,000.’

Both parties said there had been a misunderstanding Wednesday.

‘In conversations with Five-One Productions, we realized there were some miscommunications with members of the student group,’ Matthew said. ‘After realizing that, we discounted the charges for the event.’

Matthews said he then quoted the organizers a different price and set a second deadline for payment.

‘The total due then changed from about $15,000 to $8,190.96,’ Matthew said. ‘We gave them a new due date, but there was no communication from them after that and we did not receive a payment by the new due date and so the event was canceled as a result of non payment.’

Bennett said he was unaware of the new arrangement.

‘I don’t know anything about a second deadline,’ Bennett said. ‘If they sent me an e-mail, it’s not like I’m sitting at my computer 24 hours a day. They have my phone number.’

Things may have turned out differently, Bennett said, had he known of the new deadline.

‘It was supposed to be no money up front,’ Bennett said. ‘Then on the back end, the $8,000 figure would’ve been more than reasonable.’

Bennett said the miscommunication with the Cullen Performance Hall has taken the focus off the event’s initial cause.

‘Wednesday was spent doing damage control,’ Bennett said. ‘Canceling everything we were spending money on like lighting rentals, the rehearsal hall, making sure the trucks didn’t show up canceling with Ticketmaster – stuff like that.’

Bennett has spent the years since his stay at Texas Children’s volunteering with the organization. Though the show has been canceled, he said he still plans to make it up to one patient.

‘One of the girls who’s at the hospital right now got clearance from her doctors to come to the show,’ Bennett said. ‘So I’m going to be taking her out on Saturday sort of as a replacement.’

Updates about the event can be found at

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