Broadway Actor’s Past Draws Split Crowd


James Barbour is known for his beautiful voice and acting abilities.

But three years ago, Barbour was indicted on felony child molestation charges, and he was sentenced to 60 days in jail and three years probation.

His probation behind him, Barbour will star next month in "The Rocky Horror Show" at the Old Globe Theater in San Diego.

There was mixed reaction Wednesday from theater patrons going to a matinee performance at the Old Globe.

Outside the theater, Amy Curtin, a mother of four, said she wouldn't be comfortable "going to a theater that pays an actor with such a past.”

Said Melanie Weiner: “I believe people who are interested in healing can change and people who have made amends for the things they have done should be given an opportunity to move on with their lives and be of service to society.”

Barbour's victim was a 15-year-old girl who visited him backstage during a 2001 high school trip in New York.

He later pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts, admitting to fondling the teen and later having oral sex with her at his apartment.

“I would be uncomfortable," Curtin said, "because he is in a position where people would be going backstage, and children look up to the actors and actresses."

In an emailed statement, Lou Spisto, Old Globe executive producer, said Barbour has "completed the conditions of his sentence, and he has continued his successful career as an actor on Broadway in The Tale of Two Cities and in a touring production of Camelot on stages nationwide, including San Diego's Civic Theatre.

"The Old Globe is confident that, in addition to being highly qualified for the role, he will continue to behave with absolute professionalism."

Barbour could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

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