Hank Williams May Close Off-Broadway Run July 13

News   Hank Williams May Close Off-Broadway Run July 13 The acclaimed Off-Broadway musical Hank Williams: Lost Highway has put up a provisional closing at the Little Shubert Theatre for July 13. An earlier closing date of Aug. 31 had previously been announced.

The musical had a sold-out run at the Manhattan Ensemble Theater before transferring to the Little Shubert March 26. A spokesperson for the production said that producers hope to keep the show running, and if ticket sales pick up in the next few days, an extension is possible. Also, a national tour is in the works. The New York company recorded a cast album for the Fynsworth Alley label on June 16. It will be released in stores on Aug. 5.

A recent casting notice listed the musical Fame as the Little Shubert's next tenant. October 7 is mentioned as the opening date for the musical about up-and-coming performing artists attending New York's High School for the Performing Arts. Producers are Richard Martini, Allen Spivak and Dodger Stage Holding in association with the Father Fame Foundation. The casting notice also says that Drew Scott Harris will direct the musical with Lars Bethke supplying the choreography.

Based on the life of the late musician Hank Williams, Hank Williams: Lost Highway began its journey at the Mark Taper Forum. Directed by Randal Myler and co-written by Myler and Mark Harelik, the musical features 15 of Williams' classic songs, including "Your Cheatin' Heart," "Jambalaya (On the Bayou)" and "Hey, Good Lookin." Jason Petty heads the cast of the production, which received an Obie Award, two Lucille Lortel Award nominations, three Outer Critics Circle Award nominations, one Drama Desk nomination and a Drama League honor.

Hank Williams is only the latest Off-Broadway hit to discover that sanguine reviews and a sold-out initial run does not necessarily translate into a viable commercial transfer in today's economic climate. The Last Sunday in June and Zanna, Don't!, two shows that were well reviewed and popular with audiences, recently closed after shorter-than-expected runs in commercial Off-Broadway houses. The latter is exploring a move to Broadway.

The Little Shubert Theatre is located at 422 West 42nd Street. Tickets are available by calling (212) 239-6200.