Jackie Mason's latest Broadway solo, Much Ado About Everything, ends its successful run July 30, after 36 previews and 183 regular performances.
Much Ado About Everything opened Dec. 30 at the John Golden Theater. Previews began Nov. 16 for the show, which missed a couple of nights in early December owing to Mason battling a flu.
Mason's comedy, delivered in a borscht-belt cantorial style that runs from bemusement to mock anger, generally deals with such subjects as politicians, urban annoyances, and differences between Jews and gentiles. From the beginning, West Coast-based spokesperson Larry Weinberg promised that "all-new" material would fill Much Ado.
The comedian has had four long-runs on Broadway: The World According to Me, Jackie Mason Brand New, Politically Incorrect and Love Thy Neighbor. Spokesperson Weinberg noted that Much Ado paid back its investors in ten weeks and has had "a very, very profitable run. Jackie's closing because he felt there was no reason to stay on Broadway simply for the sake of staying there. Why play to less than-full houses or at discounted prices when he can take the show on the road and play to full houses at full prices?"
The new show features lighting by Stan Crocker and a sound design by Christopher Cronin, but no set designer, according to a production spokesperson. As reported by the New York Post, Much Ado will now embark on an international tour, with dates in London and the south of France among others. (Apart from that, Mason's currently booked for an Oct. 22 stint at Westbury Music Fair on Long Island.) Mason then intends to come back to Broadway with a burlesque show, tentatively titled The Mother of All Burlesque Shows. Publicist Weinberg told Playbill On-Line Ralph Allen, who wrote Sugar Babies, is scripting the new show as well, though there was no word on a composer or other casting. "Jackie and his manager, Jyll Rosenfeld, will produce," said Weinberg. "I wouldn't expect Siegfried and Roy to be among the novelty acts," he added, noting that Mason has been comically cruel to them in Much Ado. Herbert Ross, director of filmdom's "The Turning Point," is skedded to direct.
For tickets and information on Much Ado About Everything call (212) 239-6200. Tickets are also on sale at the John Golden Theater box office, 252 West 45th Street.