Dirty Blonde, the hit Claudia Shear play which has lived at the Helen Hayes for nearly a year, will close on March 4, according to an advertisement in the New York Times. The show has been advertising "last weeks" for some time now. The comedy opened on May 1, 2000, after previews and a run Off-Broadway.
Dirty Blonde was originally staged at the New York Theatre Workshop. In all, Dirty Blonde garnered five Tony nominations: Best Play, Best Director, Best Performance by a Leading Actress and two for Best Performance by a Featured Actor. It won no awards.
The one-man Hershey Felder show, Gershwin Alone, is expected to next inhabit the Helen Hayes.
Producers and staff are meeting late Feb. 20 in New York City to determine the future of the play. Some initial determination on the show's future—possibly in London and possibly on tour—is expected by tomorrow, Feb. 21.
While the play continues on Broadway at the Helen Hayes with Karen Najimy in the starring role, plans have been considered for either a London run with playwright and original star Shear, or certain interim touring options. The latter idea was floated after London venues were deemed unavailable. Concrete news is expected shortly.
Kevin Chamberlin, the original co-star of Dirty Blonde, gave his final performance in his Tony nominated role on July 5, 2000 at the Helen Hayes Theatre. Chamberlin went on to join the cast of The Seussical, which opened on Broadway Nov. 30. Replacing Chamberlin in Dirty Blonde was Tom Riis Farrell, who assumed the role on July 6 last year.
Kathy Najimy assumed the dual role of Mae West and a Mae West fan on Jan. 9.
Claudia Shear (playwright and star) and James Lapine (director) co-conceived the show and shepherded its move to Broadway. The play marked Shear's return to NYTW, where she triumphed in 1993 with her one woman "tour de résumé" Blown Sideways, a 64-job search for employment. That piece earned her an Obie Award and a Drama Desk Award nomination.
Dirty Blonde involves two single New Yorkers who meet at Mae West's grave site and goes on to trace the couple's changing relationship while simultaneously tracking West's career.
Tickets for Dirty Blonde are $65. The Helen Hayes Theatre is located at 240 W. 44 St. For tickets call Telecharge at (212) 239-6200 or (800) 432-7250.