Annie Moves to the Martin Beck; Grease! Will Reopen

News   Annie Moves to the Martin Beck; Grease! Will Reopen File this under "It's an ill Wind that blows no one some good."

The postponement of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Whistle Down the Wind has knocked down a series of dominoes that will allow Grease! to continue on Broadway. Here's how it worked. In a Broadway season plagued by a booking jam, Webber had managed to book one of the prime musical theatres, the Martin Beck for WDTW. The incoming revival of Annie with Nell Carter, wanted one of the big houses, but had settled for the smaller Eugene O'Neill Theatre. The O'Neill had already been booked with the long running Grease revival, but the show was doing less than capacity business, which allowed its managers to exercise a contract clause to evict the show.

BUT, with Whistle postponed, Annie has booked the Beck and Grease has the O'Neill all to itself again. A spokesperson for the production said Grease! will close Feb. 23 as scheduled, but will reopen at an unspecified date this spring with a new cast -- a sort of revival of a revival. The boxoffices are scrambling to transfer the already-sold O'Neill tickets to the Beck.

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