The Tale of the Allergist's Wife, the hit Charles Busch comedy that started at Off-Broadway's Manhattan Theatre Club in spring 2000 and found success at Broadway's Ethel Barrymore Theatre that fall and beyond, will close Sept. 15 after 25 previews and 777 performances.
The New Yorky comedy about a depressed Upper West Side wife named Marjorie Taub, whose world is shaken by a visit from a childhood friend, first starred Linda Lavin Off-Broadway and then on Broadway; she was Tony Award-nominated for the performance. Michele Lee was also Tony-nommed for playing her sexy pal, Lee.
Valerie Harper later took on the Marjorie role and played dates this summer in Los Angeles and San Francisco, prior to the Sept. 10 launch of the national tour in Denver. Original 2000 New York cast members Michele Lee, Tony Roberts, Shirl Bernheim and Anil Kumar also played the West Coast dates. Lynne Meadow directed from the start.
The current Broadway cast has Rhea Perlman in the title role, with Marilu Henner as Lee. Richard Kind is the allergist hubby, Ira. Chevi Colton is Frieda, Marjorie's aged mother, and Daniel Sandoval is Mohammed, Marjorie's philosophical doorman.
Business for the Broadway staging has slumped this summer, but the show had already recouped its investment. The play was nominated for a 2001 Best Play Tony Award. Lee was also Tony nommed. Nora Ephron's Imaginary Friends will move into the Barrymore later this season.
The tour continues to some 40 cities with Harper, Jana Robbins as Lee, Mike Burstyn as Ira, New York original Anil Kumar and Sondra James as Frieda.
Lynne Meadow has been artistic director of Manhattan Theatre Club since 1972. The Tale of the Allergist's Wife is produced by Manhattan Theatre Club (Lynne Meadow, artistic director; Barry Grove, executive producer), Carole Shorenstein Hays, Daryl Roth, Stuart Thompson and Douglas S. Cramer, The creative team includes set design by Santo Loquasto, costumes by Ann Roth, lighting by Christopher Akerlind and sound by Bruce Ellman and Brian Ronan.
Cities on the 2002-03 tour list include St. Louis, Detroit, Boston, Chicago and more. Tour dates through April 6, 2003, have been announced. Click here to visit Playbill On Line's listing for the tour.