It's official. The anticipated Broadway transfer for Dirty Blonde will take place this season, in time for the play to meet the Tony eligibility deadline of a May 3 opening.
The NYTW production of Dirty Blonde featured Kevin Chamberlin, playwright Claudia Shear and Bob Stillman, who are expected to transfer 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 earned her an Obie Award and a Drama Desk Award nomination. The recent NYTW production was helmed by James Lapine.
The late-season maneuvering and preferred placement of Dirty Blonde in the Helen Hayes might be interpreted as support for the argument that the show is a Best New Play Tony favorite.
Dirty Blonde was conceived by playwright Shear together with director James Lapine. The story involves two single New Yorkers who meet at Mae West's grave site. The play then goes on to trace the couple's changing relationship while simultaneously tracking West's career. A Dirty Blonde spokesperson told Playbill On-Line, "I don't have any dates, but I do know it's going to go to the Helen Hayes." The spokesperson said that there would be no cast changes from the original NYTW line-up and that the plan was to move the show to Broadway "before the Tony deadline."
The Shubert Organization will be involved with the Broadway production but detailed information about producers and the production team have yet to be announced.
The Helen Hayes Theatre will soon be free due to the closing of Squonk. Immediately after the Squonk closing story broke on the afternoon of March 20, the key players in the Dirty Blonde production became unreachable and were reportedly meeting at the Shubert offices.
As reported earlier, the League of American Theatres and Producers recently reported that Squonk was running at roughly 50 percent capacity. Shortly afterward, Helen Hayes owner Martin Markinson invoked the stop clause.
The NYTW production of Claudia Shear's Dirty Blonde had a busy preview period and full houses beginning with its Jan. 10 opening. Originally scheduled to close Feb. 6, the show was extended to Feb. 13, when it closed to make way for the next production at NYTW, the Christopher Ashley directed production of playwright Jean Marie Besset's What You Get and What You Expect. Since then, speculation concerning Dirty Blonde's transfer has been intense.
Performance dates and ticket information for Dirty Blonde will be posted on Playbill On-Line as soon as it is made available.