The U.S. premiere production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's By Jeeves has extended again at the Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, CT.
Produced under the auspices of Goodspeed Opera House, the production, which opens Nov. 7, will now run through January 19, its second extension.
In previews, which began Oct. 17, the musical got a new opening number, "Wooster Will Entertain You," which replaces "The Code of the Woosters."
Webber told Playbill On-Line the song has been added to the London production as well.
Spokesperson Jennifer Wislocki said the song was the "only significant change" in the script, but that director/librettist Alan Ayckbourn "did some different things directorially." Wislocki said Ayckbourn likes the Terris Theatre so much, the show will be staying there instead of moving to the Goodspeed mainstage, as had been mentioned previously. She said the production may extend again.
The musical, a substantially revised version of Webber's only flop, the 1975 Jeeves, began performances just a few days before the Oct. 21 start of New York rehearsals for Webber's completely new musical, Whistle Down the Wind, which opens in Washington DC in December.
As in the 1975 original, By Jeeves has libretto by comedy playwright Ayckbourn, based on the P.G. Wodehouse novels about the bumbling aristocrat Bertie Wooster and his sublimely competent butler, Jeeves.
Directed by Ayckbourn, the revised version opened this spring at the theatre Ayckbourn runs in Scarborough, U.K., and transferred to the Duke of York's Theatre in the West End for a July 2 opening. It has since moved again, to the Lyric Theatre.
Wislocki said that the American production will invite theatre critics, unlike most previous productions at the Norma Terris Theatre. The official opening is Nov. 7. The extension also marks the first time the Terris has stayed open during the snowy rural New England winter.
The larger Goodspeed Opera House proper is occupied with a 20th anniversary revival of Annie which ends Dec. 22.
Tickets, at $33, can be purchased by calling (860) 873-8668.
If all goes well, By Jeeves could transfer to Broadway, Off-Broadway or some other major U.S. theatre afterward.