It was announced earlier this week that Max O. Preeo, the founder and editor of Show Music, a magazine focusing on musical theater scores, had sued the Goodspeed Opera House Foundation and its executive director, Michael P. Price, to return the magazine to Preeo's sole ownership. The battle between the camps continues to rage this week.

"I started [Show Music] in 1981 as a newsletter and it evolved into a magazine which I was having trouble keeping going by myself," Preeo told TheaterMania.com this morning, "so I took it to Goodspeed and they assumed the publication of the magazine." This was in 1991, and the magazine continued publication until September 2002, when Goodspeed informed the magazine's subscribers that the publication would be "suspended indefinitely."

According to Preeo, an agreement signed in 1996 stated that ownership of the magazine would return to Preeo should Goodspeed choose to stop publishing it. "The reason that this has gone to an attorney is because I didn't receive any response from Goodspeed in requesting that they return my magazine to me as required by our contract," Preeo continued.

Dan McMahon, a spokesman for Goodspeed, disagreed with Preeo's description of the situation. "Basically, we haven't seen the papers yet," he told TheaterMania yesterday. "What's been going on is that when we ended Show Music last fall, we had been working with Max to turn everything over to him and have, in fact, turned some of the items over. We're in the final stages of working out the details. We heard some of the details of the lawsuit from the press, so it caught us by surprise.

"Especially since March, we've been back and forth and working things out," McMahon continued. "We've delivered some lists and things to Max just a few weeks ago. It's a mystery to us why we didn't just complete this as we were on track to, and instead had a lawsuit filed. It'll all work out. We're in the process. We're in good faith efforts right now to turn it over, so it'll be fine."

Preeo, however, says that Goodspeed has been less than fully cooperative. "They sent a proposed settlement and release agreement which contained terms that we weren't willing to give them about the magazine," he explained. "They claim that they don't owe any additional money for the use of the magazine's title, and they have continued using the name Show Music on their website and in their media materials, so I feel that there's still some money due. There were a number of things that we wouldn't agree to in their handing back the magazine, and their attorney was notified of that. This was toward the end of April and we hadn't really had any word at all from them since then, even though my attorney had contacted theirs several times. So it basically came down to feeling that there wasn't any way to get this resolved except to go to court."

Although Preeo has no immediate plans for Show Music's future, he remains optimistic. "I'm confident it will come back," he told TheaterMania, "but first, we have to get this settled."