Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Ritz: Studio 54 To Transform Into Baths

The Ritz: Studio 54 To Transform Into Baths

Talk about coming full circle. The erstwhile den of 70s hedonism -- Studio 54 -- is headed back in a decadent direction this fall as the Roundabout Theatre Company transforms the space back to the gloryhole days of The Ritz.

With Joe Mantello at the helm, this will mark the second revival of Terrence McNally's 1975 seminal steamy sex farce set in the Big Apple's gay baths -- the first revival, which opened at the onset of the AIDS crisis in May 1983, closed after one regular performance.

This time around, Kevin Chamberlin (one of my faves since seeing him in Dirty Blonde) and Rosie Perez (who blew me away in the 2004 revival of Reckless) take the roles created on Broadway by Jack Weston and Rita Moreno, respectively, back in 1975. Moreno even took home a Tony for her efforts and the show ran for nearly a year.

Previews for the revival are set to begin September 14, with the opening scheduled for October 11. The comedy will enjoy a limited run through December 2.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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At 31 May, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm assuming it only lasted one performance because of the timing - at the start of the AIDS crisis. Do shows ever close before opening night, like in the middle of previews?

At 31 May, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Although I would make the same assumption, I can't find any details as to whether it's truly the case.

As for shows that closed before opening night, the Great White Way is littered from time to time with shows that never open. In fact, I've counted about 17 since 1900.

The most recent show to close during previews was the ill-fated Farrah Fawcett play Bobby Boland, which began previews on November 4 and summarily closed after just seven, reputedly horrendous performances.

One of the most notorious shows to never open was the 1966 musical version of Breakfast At Tiffany's that starred Richard Chamberlain, Mary Tyler Moore and Sally Kellerman. After only four performances on Broadway, producer David Merrick pulled the plug saying he'd rather close "than subject the drama critics and the public to an excruciatingly boring evening."

At 31 May, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Whoops! Bobbi Boland with an "i" was mounted in November of 2003.

At 31 May, 2007, Blogger Sarah B. Roberts said...

What about Suzanne Sommer's show? Wasn't that one preview?

At 31 May, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Close. But no cigar.

You're thinking of The Blonde In The Thunderbird, which opened and had nine regular performances before closing two summers ago.

At 01 June, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lots of shows that should have closed before opening. High Fidelity had 14 regular performances and Lestat had 39. I saw both and both deserved their fate.

This story interests me for another reason. How many shows is Roundabout going to put in this place over the enxt year. I've heard Sunday in the Park, Cabaret, and now this.

At 01 June, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...


I would agree with you that many shows probably should never have made it to opening night, but you need some bad to appreciate the truly excellent, right?

During the 2006-07 Theatrical Season, the Roundabout produced four Broadway shows, including two at Studio 54 (The Apple Tree and 110 In The Shade) and two at the American Airlines Theatre (Heartbreak House and Prelude To A Kiss).

To date, the only Broadway shows they've confirmed for the upcoming year are Old Acquaintance and Pygmalion, both of which will be produced at the American Airlines Theatre starting later this month, as well as two shows at Studio 54: The Ritz and Sunday In The Park With George.

It should also be noted that Roundabout produces shows Off-Broadway as well at the Laura Pels Theatre.

Although I've previously reported on the possibility of Cabaret coming back to Studio 54, more recent reports suggest that Roundabout may be the occupant of the rejuvenated (or should I say reconstructed?) space known as the Henry Miller Theatre (The landmark Miller facade remains but a new 950 seat theatre is being built within a new Bank of America tower).

At 01 June, 2007, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Corey - I should also have stated that Old Acquaintance begins previews tonight. The wonderful Harriet Harris leads the cast.


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