Bill Cosby's scheduled appearances at Tarrytown's Music Hall Saturday, December 6 will not take place. That announcement came following a mounting number of requests for ticket refunds prompted by the allegations against the actor-comedian of past sexual assaults. The promoter of the shows had signaled the Music Hall just prior to the weekend that it could offer refunds for those who wanted them.
Requests for the ticket refunds apparently increased this week to the point where the Hall might not be half-filled for the two Cosby shows which originally had been sold out. Then, word came Wednesday on the Music Hall's Facebook that, " Bill Cosby, in consultation with the promoter, has agreed to postpone the performances to a later date. All patrons will be refunded."
Accusations of past sexual assaults against the actor-comedian by a number of women. had already resulted in cancellations of some of his TV and live appearances as he was a making an effort to revive his career. Despite the allegations and controversy they have stirred, Cosby's appearance last month at a Melbourne, Florida theater, drew waves of laughter and a standing ovation.
The refund offer had been a reversal of the earlier position explained by Bjorn Olsson, Executive Director of the Music Hall. In a prior Facebook post, he had noted that the theater was contractually obligated to go forward with Bill Cosby's two Saturday appearances, otherwise it could heavily hurt the non-profit Hall financially. "I understand the frustration that many feel," he wrote. "However, I would like to explain why I think directing these feelings against The Music Hall is misguided. We were unaware of this controversy when the show was booked, as I am sure the majority... of ticket holders and other concerned individuals were."
Olsson added that the show was booked by an outside promoter. "The way our business works is that a contract exists between Cosby and AM Productions, the promoter, which in turn rents the Music Hall as a venue," Olsson further explained. "If AM breaks their contract with Cosby, they still have to pay him the guarantee, same thing if we break the rental contract with AM, except they would then be forced to come after us to recoup the money they owe Cosby. Since he is a very expensive artist, this would be a tremendous blow to The Music Hall, likely to force layoffs and cuts in our community programs."
Apparently, Cosby and AM Productions decided to toss in the towel for this weekend and the shows would not go on.
On November 29, 2010, the Village of Tarrytown issued a demolition permit for the old Tarrytown Village Hall on Wildey Street. It was supposed to pave the way for new affordable, workforce housing pursuant to a deal with the developer of Hudson Harbor on Tarrytown’s waterfront.