Battle in Branson

03/15/1999 12:00AM

Tony Orlando is suing Wayne Newton for more than $15 million, claiming his former friend wrongly threw him out of the theater they once shared in Branson, Mo. The performers last year shared what was then the Talk of the T.O.W.N. Theater, until Newton, whose company held the lease on the building, locked Orlando out, saying Orlando owed him more than $2 million. The lockout cost Orlando $125,000 from 11 canceled shows last year and millions more in earnings he would have made over the next two seasons, the federal lawsuit (filed Wednesday) claims. The theater's name, T.O.W.N., is an acronym for Tony Orlando and Wayne Newton.

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