Hey Kids! Don't Put On That Show

Chicago the Musical logo over performers from the show with a canceled show sign on top
Maybe Broadway can't take the competition.

A high school production of the show "Chicago" is being shut down because it's being performed within 75 miles of The Great White Way.

The show was due to open at Herbert H. Lehman High School in the Bronx on Thursday. The students — who had rehearsed for months — including weekends and Spring Break — were given the word Friday — that Broadway lawyers have stepped in.

"We were all putting everything we had into it, and for someone to tell me I can't do this is like someone telling me I can't breathe or I can't walk," 17-year-old Justin Valentin, who was set to star as lawyer Billy Flynn, told the New York Daily News.

Samuel French Incorporated — the company representing the authors of the play — issued a cease and desist order, citing copyright laws and licensing agreements.

The school's principal apparently didn't ask permission from the company to use the play.

Even if he would have, though, permission contractually couldn't have been granted, due to a Broadway agreement.

Chicago producer Barry Weissler says he feels bad for the Bronx students — but he has an agreement with the Ambassador Theater prohibiting a performance with 75 miles of New York City.

"I'm sorry," Weissler told the Daily News. "I feel terrible for the kids, but I have an agreement with the Ambassador Theatre that does not allow a performance within 75 miles of New York City."

The high school was going to charge seven dollars a ticket for the student production of Chicago.

The show at the Ambassador Theater can cost up to $235 a ticket.

The schools principal — Robert Leder — says he been at the school 27 years and never got permission for a school play before. He says he's guilty of not knowing the permission was needed.