Epic Proportions Stays The Course with Stadlen & Chenoweth

News   Epic Proportions Stays The Course with Stadlen & Chenoweth Lewis J. Stadlen took the place of a deceased actor; Kristin Chenoweth just landed a TV sitcom deal, and they're both in a show that's doing only five figures at the box office. Not a recipe for success, but Epic Proportions continues to stake its claim on Broadway, bolstered by a few good reviews and the paucity of new non-musicals on The Street.

Lewis J. Stadlen took the place of a deceased actor; Kristin Chenoweth just landed a TV sitcom deal, and they're both in a show that's doing only five figures at the box office. Not a recipe for success, but Epic Proportions continues to stake its claim on Broadway, bolstered by a few good reviews and the paucity of new non-musicals on The Street.

Lewis J. Stadlen, whose recent New York credits include A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Mizlansky/Zilinsky took over the role of D.W. DeWitt in the Broadway comedy, Epic Proportions, Oct. 29. He replaced character actor Richard B. Shull, 70, who died of a heart attack Oct. 14. The character of DeWitt is that of a distracted, cynical movie mogul in charge of a Biblical epic, but more interested in screening blue films as a way of escaping the pressures of movie making.

Larry Coen and David Crane's comedy also features Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth and a number of other actors known for their comedic work: Alan Tudyk, Ruth Williamson and Ross Lehman.

Epic Proportions plays at the Helen Hayes Theatre, where, for the week ending Nov. 7, it grossed only $75,536 and filled only 41.8 percent of its seats. That's up a bit from the previous week's $66,314 but down from the $100-120 numbers numbers reached in the show's early days. A production spokesperson at the Pete Sanders press office told Playbill On Line the show would continue its open run, and that Chenoweth's 13 episode, NBC deal wouldn't come into play until next fall.

Stadlen, a Tony nominee for both the Forum revival and Candide, also appeared in Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Olympus on my Mind and Signature Theatre's mounting of Arthur Miller's The American Clock. The show is produced by Brent Peek, Mark Schwartz, Bob Cuillo, Bob Barandes and Matthew Farrell. Designing the show are David Gallo (set), who also designed Bunny Bunny; Paul Gallo (lighting), William Ivey Long (costumes) and Aural Fixation (sound).

A look at Hollywood during the Studio Era, Epic Proportions takes place on the set of a 1930s Biblical epic. Chenoweth, Davidson and Tudyk are three sides of a love triangle; most of the actors play "a cast of thousands."

Coen and Crane penned the script three years ago but were waiting for Zaks to come available to direct. Co-author Crane is the co-creator of the TV sitcoms "Friends" and "Veronica's Closet" and serves as executive producer on "Jesse."

Tickets to Epic Proportions are on sale via Telecharge (212) 239- 6200.