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Serving the Theatre Community since 1998

Issue #74: October 1, 2001


  • My sincere condolences to families and friends of all those who lost their lives on September 11. As a former New York resident I am acutely aware of the fewer degrees of separation between us. I am also very proud of New Yorkers who, I know, will not allow the terrorists to win.
  • With the horrific events and the devastation of many industries in the US, however, the Broadway community, which relies heavily on the tourist industry, is reeling from the domino effect. Three of the longest running shows, Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera and Rent, posted six-figure losses the week of September 10—their futures may be in jeopardy. The three Broadway theatre owners—the Shuberts, the Nederlanders and Jujamcyn—have waived rent from producers for the immediate future to help ease the financial burden. Along with four shows posting closing notices the week of September 17, Andrew Lloyd Weber has cancelled plans to open By Jeeves in November due to the withdrawal of two major investors.
  • We should brace ourselves for more empty theatres in the near future. Nevertheless, preliminary plans by the Broadway community to support the New York relief effort and to try to bring audiences back to the theatre are being discussed. One proposal is to donate a portion of future ticket sales to the relief fund not only from the sale of Broadway tickets but from the touring shows as well. An aggressive “I Love New York” campaign is also being discussed to encourage audiences to return to Broadway.
  • The longest-running musical in history The Fantasticks will have its final curtain call in January after more than 17,000 performances. The off-Broadway show, which has been at the Sullivan Street Theatre in Greenwich Village since 1960, has been experiencing small houses coupled with increased operating costs. The musical leaves a legacy of it being mounted in almost 70 countries, including an upcoming production in China in Mandarin.
  • More casting news for Cameron Mackintosh’s production of Oklahoma! Patrick Wilson is on board to play Curly and Shulber Hensley will reprise his role as Jud when the curtain rises at the Gershwin Theatre on March 21, 2002.
  • Noises Off will open at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on November 1 with Broadway veteran Patti LuPone and screen actor Peter Gallagher.

Broadway On The Road

  • Business seems to be strong in other parts of the theatre world. News from Toronto indicates that the theatre industry is doing just fine. Many theatre goers planning to visit Broadway have changed their plans and are visiting the thriving Toronto theatre community. Such hits as The Lion King and Mamma Mia! are currently on the boards along with a number of other theatre offerings in the city and southern Ontario.
  • A national tour of the Tony-award winning play Proof is in the works with Chelsea Altman signed to play the leading role. The Curran Theater in San Francisco will host the kick-off of the tour on November 27, 2001.
  • Also, set to go out on tour is Michael Frayn’s Copenhagen. The tour begins in Los Angeles in November with Len Cariou, Mariette Hartley and Hank Stratton in the starring roles.

Bits & Pieces

  • I want to welcome those who are discovering ON THE BOARDS AND IN THE WINGS through MOCHA SOFA. You are joining us at a difficult time in the theatre industry and it is important to note that all information is based on industry publications and reliable sources in the theatre community. As always with live theatre it changes on a daily basis, however I’ll try to give you as much concrete information as possible. If you have any questions regarding Broadway, the touring productions or London’s West End, please feel free to e-mail me and I will do the best I can to answer your inquiries or direct you to someone who can.

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