State probes firm over Lyric ticket refunds

Canceled shows draw numerous complaints

February 23, 2007|By Laura McCandlish | Laura McCandlish,sun reporter

The Maryland attorney general's office is investigating several complaints against Baltimore-based Baci Management alleging failure to refund money paid for tickets to canceledshows that it had booked at the Lyric Opera House.

Four of the five touring shows booked by Baci at the Lyric since October have been canceled, resulting in a loss of revenue for the 112-year-old theater on Mount Royal Avenue, which is operated by the nonprofit Lyric Foundation, and bringing complaints from ticket buyers.

The attorney general's office has nine open complaints against Baci Management about ticket refunds, all filed in the past three weeks, said Raquel Guillory, spokeswoman for Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler.

The Lyric's subscription series of touring shows was booked by Performing Arts Productions, a subsidiary of Baci Management. Nicholas Litrenta, Baci's president, did not return calls to his home last night.

Guillory said ticket holders who have not received refunds from Baci may file complaints by calling the attorney general's office at 410-576-6300 or 888-743-0023.

Court records in Baltimore and in Baltimore County show more than 30 lawsuits, a number for unpaid bills, filed against Litrenta and his companies over the past five years.

A 2006 case filed by a company that made Baci a loan resulted in a judgment of more than $300,000 against Litrenta and his company.

Canceled shows at the Lyric this season include Elton John's Aida, Casablanca, On Golden Pond and Cabaret.

The final show in the series, a tribute to Ray Charles called I Can't Stop Loving You, is scheduled for the week of April 10. It is not clear whether the show will run.

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