In the old days -- well, not so old days -- it was a regular occurrence for hit Off-Broadway shows to make the big jump to Broadway. Now producers are more likely to keep Off-Broadway shows where they are or simply move hits to a larger Off-Broadway house. So where's the theatre action these days? In the leap from Off-Off-Broadway to Off-Broadway.
Gross Indecency: The Three Trials Of Oscar Wilde and As Bees In Honey Drown are prime recent examples of plays that proved popular enough to move beyond their small beginnings to commercial open runs. This burgeoning trend is the topic of an upcoming Drama Desk panel, open to the public: "Look, Ma, We're An Off-Broadway Hit!". The seminar takes place Monday, Nov. 3, 6 PM at Off-Broadway's John Houseman Theatre (450 West 42nd St.) in New York.
Panelists at the event include:
Doug Aibel, artistic director of Vineyard Theatre (first home of How I Learned to Drive)
Douglas Carter Beane, author of As Bees In Honey Drown at Drama Dept., where he serves as artistic director)
Susann Brinkley, co-owner of the Cherry Lane Theater (Tell-Tale)
Mark Brokaw, director of Bees and Drive
Casey Childs, artistic director of Primary Stages (first home of Mere Mortals)
Eric Krebs, owner of the John Houseman Theatre (current home of Mere Mortals
Edgar Lansbury, producer of As Bees in Honey Drown
Keith Levy, artistic director of Theatre Couture (Tell-Tale)
Mark Russell, artistic director of P.S. 122
Leonard Soloway, producer of Drive Gross Indecency.
Co-moderators for the seminar will be Leslie (Hoban) Blake of Encore/The Off- Broadway Magazine, and Randy Gener of The Village Voice.
Tickets are free for Drama Desk members, $5 for the general public. For more information call (212) 255-2234. --By David Lefkowitz