Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Going: Three for Three

Going: Three for Three

In the midst of this past Labor Day weekend, three Broadway shows concluded their runs on September third. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Sweeney Todd and The Lieutenant Of Inishmore were each successful either as popular favorites or for critical acclaim.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels seemed to fit squarely into the first camp, although once Jonathan Pryce signed-on, it seemed to catch favor with critics taking a second look. Of course, no one had anything but praise for Norbert Leo Butz, who took home a Tony for his extraordinary efforts. Personally, I loved the show from the get-go and ranked it among my top five shows from the 2004-05 Theatrical Season. All totaled, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels played 666 regular performances at the Imperial Theatre.

While critically-acclaimed, Sweeney Todd couldn't sustain public interest despite the fact that it had a superb cast (Michael Cerveris and Patti LuPone) throughout its 349 regular performances at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre. Personally, I enjoyed immensely the unique staging of this Stephen Sondheim masterpiece in which each of the cast members did double duty as the orchestra. I was a bit disheartened that it never really caught fire as well as its failure to win the Tony for Best Revival of a Musical. Overall, with its inspired direction, wonderful orchestrations and excellent cast, I ranked it among my top ten for the 2005-06 Theatrical Season.

Finally, the one show that closed that I didn't have an opportunity to see was the dark comedy The Lieutenant Of Inishmore, which closed at the Lyceum Theatre after just 142 regular performances. Despite the critical buzz, it was completely ignored on Tony night in favor of The History Boys, which for the time being now stands as the only play left on Broadway.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, of course, lives on and is already touring. Sweeney Todd will soon follow. No word yet on the afterlife for The Lieutenant Of Inishmore, but don't be surprised to see regional theatres resurrecting it for local productions.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Click here for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels tour tickets.
Related Stories:
Lieutenant of Inishmore to Lay Down Arms September 3 (August 24, 2006)
The Latest "Dirt" From the Road (August 21, 2006)
Which Broadway Musical Will Depart Next? (August 21, 2006)
The Reckoning: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels to Close in September (August 17, 2006)
Down and Dirty in Seattle (August 4, 2006)
Sweeney Todd's Close Shave: LuPone and Cerveris to Stay Put Through Thanksgiving (June 27, 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)
Lucie Arnaz Plays Omaha Chic in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (May 23, 2006)
O-Kaye Given to Temporary LuPone Replacement (May 18, 2006)
SOB's Best of 2005-06: #10 - Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Eugene O'Neill Theatre, New York, NY) (May 15, 2006)
Three Critics' Blood Pressure Soars in Reviews of The Lieutenant of Inishmore (May 4, 2006)
Martin McDonagh's The Lieutenant of Inishmore Completes Broadway Transfer (May 3, 2006)

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