The long-running Broadway revival of Show Boat will close, as scheduled, Jan. 5, 1997. The production, which won five 1995 Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical, will have played 951 performances, one of the few revivals to run longer than the original. The original 1927 Show Boat, produced by Florenz Ziegfeld, ran 557 performances.
Producer Garth Drabinsky had announced the closing in June -- an unusually long lead time for a closing notice. At the time, Drabinsky told the New York Times that the show will have grossed more than $100 million on Broadway, but box office receipts had been falling close to the weekly operating cost of $600,000. Drabinsky announced in autumn 1995 that the show had paid back its entire initial investment, so apparently will be closing solidly in the black.
With more than 1,900 seats, the Gershwin Theatre is the largest and one of the most desirable on Broadway. Drabinsky has already booked it with his production of Hal Prince's 1974 Candide revival with Jim Dale as Voltaire and Andrea Martin as the Old Lady.
Drabinsky also is producing a new musical, Ragtime, currently playing in Toronto, and headed for Los Angeles and NEw York in 1997.
-- By Robert Viagas