Fate of Wonderful Town Tour in Question

News   Fate of Wonderful Town Tour in Question
 
Will the Broadway production of Wonderful Town tour?

That's been a question on the lips of many a theatre fan and professional for some weeks, and the answer still appears to be unclear. Last May, the show's director-choreographer Kathleen Marshall confirmed the show launch its national tour Sept. 28-Oct. 10 in Houston at the Hobby Center's Sarofim Hall. That date has since been canceled, as has one at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.

Producer Barry Weissler told the L.A. Times July 20 that "the withdrawal of 25 bookings controlled by Clear Channel Entertainment created 'a huge hole' in the tour but said 'there will be a tour.'" The Times also printed a statement from Clear Channel saying that "full casting of the touring production was not concrete enough to meet our immovable deadlines."

Should the tour happen, in whatever form, another question concerns casting. The name of Lucie Arnez has been bandied about for weeks as the tour's possible star. She would play the role of Ruth Sherwood, essayed by Tony nominee Donna Murphy on Broadway. According to the L.A. Times, Weissler said Arnaz would star in the tour, but Arnaz conversely said she had been told of the tour's cancellation, so instead booked into a cabaret gig at Orange County Performing Arts Center. The center's website has Arnaz performing Oct. 5-9, 2004. Wonderful Town is still scheduled on the site to play the center Sept. 6-18, 2005.

The Broadway revival of Wonderful Town is now playing at Broadway's Al Hirschfeld Theatre. Marshall was nominated for Tony Awards for both her direction and choreography; she won in the latter category. Though largely praised by critics, the show has struggled to find an audience. For the week ending July 19, it played to 62.8 percent capacity, the lowest showing for any musical playing on Broadway.

The original cast album for the Leonard Bernstein-Betty Comden-Adolph Green show was released on the DRG label.

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