Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Reckoning: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels to Close in September


The Reckoning: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels to Close in September

Brace yourself for lots of stories proclaiming, "It was a ball, it was a blast, it's a shame it couldn't last" with the announcement today that Dirty Rotten Scoundrels simply couldn't last on Broadway without Norbert Leo Butz. While Butz is currently helping the touring production produce great big laughs in Los Angeles, the Great White Way version is set to close shop on September 3 after 666 regular performances.

I was really fortunate to see this hilarious Broadway show with its original cast just a couple days after it opened last year, and as I've mentioned in earlier postings, I even made the return trip to the Imperial Theatre to catch Jonathan Pryce in his deliciously devious take on Lawrence Jameson.

But I also confess that as infinitely inspired as I found Pryce's casting, I was conversely disappointed that Keith Carradine and Brian d'Arcy James supplanted Butz and Pryce in the two key male roles. I have nothing against either of them -- I know how celebrated Carradine was in 1991's The Will Rogers Follies, and I truly enjoyed d'Arcy James' loutish portrayal of Sidney in the all-too-short-lived Sweet Smell of Success (2002). But I could never wrap my mind around them -- particularly Carradine -- in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

It appears that I'm not alone. Since the departure of Butz and Pryce, the weekly box office grosses have slumped to the 60+ percent range, although it did bump up to 70.8% this past week. Still, with many hotly anticipated Broadway-bound musicals still searching for a home, the decision apparently has been made to pull the plug early, and that can only benefit the tuner's touring production. However, it should be noted that Butz will pull out of that tour after its October 22 performance in Dallas.

So what's next for the 1,417 seat Imperial Theatre? Could it be the perfect home for a fall debut of Curtains? Stay tuned!

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Click here for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Broadway tickets.
Click here for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels tour and ticket information.
Related Stories:
Down and Dirty in Seattle (August 4, 2006)
Star Rising: Nicole Van Giesen (June 26, 2006)
Great Scott...She's Back! Sherie René Scott Returns to Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (June 21, 2006)
Butz and Pryce Flee the Scene on July 16 (June 5, 2006)
Wicked Becomes Broadway's 8th Overall Cumulative Grosser Among Current Hits (June 2, 2006)
Flashback: Best of 2004-05 (May 26, 2006)
Flashback: Best of 2002-03 (May 24, 2006)
Lucie Arnaz Plays Omaha Chic in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (May 23, 2006)

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