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Show must go on: Wick Theater presses on despite theft

Posted at 7:46 PM, Jul 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-06 21:18:16-04

The music is alive again after thieves became the main villain at Wick Theater in Boca Raton. Crews were forced to cancel a show Wednesday night, thanks to ruthless thieves who stole vital production equipment.

To make matters worse, the canceled show was supposed to be for a group of disabled children. Over 100 children and their families were devastated.

It's a story you first saw 'Only On 5.'

"For somebody to take that joy away from a family, it's unbelievable," said Julia Kadel with the Miracle League of Palm Beach County. "Our families at first were so excited because they don't normally get this opportunity.

Click here to read our previous story.

We followed up on Thursday and learned the producers decided they're not going to let criminals ruin the production. The show will go on as they wrap up their final week of 'Beauty and the Beast.'

Wick Theater has added two more shows to make up for the cancelation. There will be a performance on Thursday night and another on Sunday night, July 9, at 7 p.m.

"How wonderful of the actresses and actors are really putting forth more time for something that I'm sure they did not schedule," said Kadel. "Everybody to come together for our special needs community -- it's important for them. We're just very grateful. It's very thoughtful of everybody."

Tuesday night, someone snuck into the production room, taking a very important computer that powered the entire musical.

"This is a $50,000 loss for this theater, without a question," said Marilynn Wick, Wick Theater executive producer.

The entire incident was all caught on camera. In the surveillance video, you see someone enter through a keypad locked door and rush through a hallway.  A few minutes later, the thief -- wearing a dark hoodie -- appears on the box office camera, with a Mac computer in hand.

"This is the second incident in the last three weeks where something has been taken from this theater, specific to the show," said the show's stage manager and producer, Dom Ruggiero. "It's extremely devastating. In my 37 years doing this, I've never had to cancel a show because of something like that."

Lights, music and backgrounds all depended on this computer.

"This is a highly technical production," said Wick.

We asked staff if this was an inside job.

"I don't want to get into that kind of theory," said Ruggiero. "This was totally unnecessary. Nothing was touched but this one computer that runs projections and animations."

But he said he wonders why only equipment vital to the show was targeted, in a room full of other valuable equipment. One computer taken in the two incidents that happened in the last three weeks and nothing else touched.

"A normal thief you'd think would take whatever he can to get money for anything," he said. "Certainly whoever did this knows the theater, knows the show and knows what elements are important to the show."

On Thursday, crews scrambled to buy a new computer and all new software to rebuild the show from scratch.

"We're getting there," said graphics tech Josieu Jean as he made final touches to the program.

Jean had been awake for nearly 24 hours recreating the set animations.

"Lack of sleep drives me!" he joked.

Staff also spent the day cold calling everyone who bought a ticket to announce the new shows. They said the phone has been ringing off the wall with full support.

"Theater will go on no matter what. We persevere. That's what we do," said Ruggiero.

The incidents are forcing staff to rethink their security. They now plan to add more security cameras.

"There will be security guards here. We will have a tighter reign on exactly how you enter the building," said Wick. "We are absolutely going to change some practices for next season."

Wick Theater staff have a special message for the suspects.

"Put it on our doorstep. We'll take it back. If you have the equipment, you can't use it. It's password protected." said Ruggiero. "You've really hurt a lot of people by stealing something that's of no value to you, so do the right thing."

Wick added a message for suspects, too.

"This has jeopardized so many people..and touched so many in so many different ways. and we will get you for sure," she said.

Ruggeiro said the computer is signed into iCloud, which could help track the suspects down.

Boca Raton Police told WPTV that the investigation continues. If know anything, please call CrimeStoppers at 800-458-TIPS (8477).

Wick Theater still has plenty of tickets available for their added show at 7 p.m. on Sunday, July 9. Click here to contact the box office.