Though very well received, Drama Dept.'s June Moon didn't quite catch on the way their still-running Off-Broadway hit, As Bees In Honey Drown, has. And so June Moon will close March 15, after 30 previews and 69 performances, after opening Jan. 15.
The show's initial Off-Off-Broadway run began previews Jan. 7, 1997, opened the following night, and was extended through Jan. 26, 1997. June Moon then waited nearly a year before starting its current, commercial Off-Broadway run at the Variety Arts Theatre on 3rd Ave. Prior to the remounting, the show played at NJ's McCarter Theatre, Sept. 19-Oct. 5.
Speculation from several sources had been that after Moon finished, the New Group company would come to the Variety Arts and revive their hit, This Is Our Youth (to be produced by the Weisslers). Instead, the New York Times reports (March 6), and the Jeffrey Richards press office confirms, that Two Pianos, Four Hands, which has been making music at Off-Broadway's Promenade Theatre since Oct. 21, 1997, will end its engagement there, March 22, and move to the Variety Arts, March 24.
The show was originally supposed to close on that date after 173 total performances and go on tour. Instead, understudies Jed Rees and Andrew Lippa will continue the New York production, while creators Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt will go on a 45-week national tour, to begin at Washington DC's Kennedy Center (April 7) for a four-week engagement. It will then move on to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Honolulu, Toronto and other cities. The show may even reappear in New York around holiday time this year.
Also, June will see a second production of the show in Birmingham, England, which will transfer to the West End this fall. As for June Moon, the show may tour, but spokesperson John Wimbs, reached March 4) says that the Drama Dept. is busy prepping As Thousands Cheer for production, (as well as keeping As Bees In Honey Drown going), so a tour isn't yet on the front burner.
Coming into the Promenade when Pianos vacates will be Manhattan Theatre Club's mounting of Power Plays, one-acts by Alan Arkin and Elaine May. (For more information on that show, please see the news story, "Seattle's ACT Has Power Plays, New May and Arkin Work, March 12.")
-- By David Lefkowitz