In order to make way for spring Broadway visitations of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman and Conor McPherson's The Weir -- transferring from Chicago and London, respectively -- the lauded and popular Martin McDonaugh play, The Beauty Queen of Leenane , may end its run in April 1999, Jujamcyn Theatres President Rocco Landesman told Playbill On-Line (Nov. 9).
Beauty Queen has been doing good business since it opened on Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theatre on Apr. 23, 1998. (The show grossed $229,114 and sold 68.1 percent of the house for the week ending Nov. 1, 1998.) But the Kerr may be needed if Jujamcyn is to bring the Goodman Theatre's highly-praised staging of Salesman, starring Brian Dennehy and Elizabeth Franz, to Broadway this spring.
"We're trying to get [Salesman ] into the O'Neill Theatre," said Landesman, "but there's a lot to talk about first."
Landesman said the O'Neill had been promised to the producers of the West End hit, The Weir, which was due to hit the Great White Way in February 1999. Putting Salesman in the O'Neill leaves The Weir homeless, making an empty Walter Kerr look like a very attractive prospect.
"We're talking about closing the Beauty Queen of Leenane on Apr. 4, ," said Landesman. "Anna Manahan can't do it past Apr. 4, and it's felt that she's very important to the show." Come Jan. 3, 1999, Manahan will be the only member of the original Irish cast in the production. Brian F. O'Byrne, Tom Murphy and Marie Mullen (the last two, Tony winners) will be traveling back to their native Ireland, as per an agreement with Actors Equity. Equity initially allowed Leenane to keep its Irish cast for 26 weeks, starting from its Broadway transfer. An American cast would have had to replace the performers in mid-October, but the producers and the union worked out an extension through New Year's.
The Weir, directed by Royal Court Theatre Artistic Director Ian Rickson (Mojo ), returned three times to London's Duke Of York before setting a final closing date for Jan. 23, 1999. The most recent return began previews Oct. 8 with an opening Oct. 12.