William Finn's long-awaited new musical, The Royal Family, will be waiting even longer.
Sources close to the production say director Jerry Zaks (A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum) is "probably" attached to the project, but even that news wasn't able to be confirmed by the Pete Sanders press office, spokespersons for the production. Pete Sanders did tell Playbill On-Line that The Royal Family will definitely not be part of the Broadway 1997-98 season, and is now targeting `98-99.
Back in February, producer Fran Weissler told Playbill On-Line regarding Zaks, "Nothing has been signed so I don't know 100 percent," but she did acknowledge that she'd hoped he'd workshop the show in New York. "I would think they would do a workshop, reading or something, but I don't know when."
Tommy Tune was the first director assigned to Family (also for a while titled The Royal Family of Broadway), which had been scheduled to premiere at Seattle Repertory Theatre in December 1996, and transfer to Broadway in 1997. The Seattle premiere was later rescheduled to June 1997. But in October 1996, Tune decided it would be the second time in a year that he would withdraw from a musical produced by the Weisslers. The Weisslers' musical Busker Alley closed in Florida during its pre-Broadway tour in December 1995 when Tune slipped during a dance number and broke his foot. The New York Times reported that Tune had, "informed the Weisslers and the writers that he simply cannot do it," and quoted an assistant saying the decision was "so intensely private" that he didn't feel it was "appropriate to talk about in a public forum."
No new touring or Broadway dates have been scheduled for the production. Seattle Rep replaced its spot with the West Coast premiere of Wendy Wasserstein's An American Daughter.