Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Frank(el)ly Talking About The Producers

Frank(el)ly Talking About The Producers

This morning's New York Post touches on the fading phenomenon known as The Producers, a blockbuster musical that once seemed destined to be the king of Broadway for years on end. Regular readers know that I've been questioning the long-term survival of the tuner for over a month in light of its serious slide at the box office and seeming inability to attract fresh audiences.

Michael Riedel notes that "A person involved in the show, which opened in the spring of 2001, says there is 'real concern' for its future: Unless business picks up in the fall, the musical could shut down by the end of the year." Riedel says that production sources tell him the $450,000 weekly gross is "not quite enough to cover its running costs."

However, one of the show's producers Richard Frankel tells Riedel that there is no talk of closing. And when asked about the possibility of stunt casting to infuse new life into the show, Frankel nixes the suggestion explaining, "You have to have highly trained actors in these roles. Weissler-type casting would not work," in reference to Fran and Barry Weissler, who have kept Chicago chugging along for nearly ten years.

Frankel does offer up one tantalizing possibility: the return of The Producers' original stars Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick. "At some point, if they would like to come back, we would love to have them. They have a standing offer," Frankel tells Riedel.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Click here for tickets.
Related Stories:
Rent: 5,492,160 Minutes And Counting (September 25, 2006)
Broadway Box Office Rebounds (September 19, 2006)
Broadway's Biggest Box Office (September 13, 2006)
Fall At Broadway's Box Office (September 12, 2006)
Does Holiday Bounce Provide Second Honeymoon for Wedding Singer? (September 5, 2006)
Is It Close-to-Curtains for The Producers? (August 29, 2006)
Which Broadway Musical Will Depart Next? (August 21, 2006)

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