Encouraged by a bump in box office and a Drama Desk Award for Best Actress in a Musical for Marla Schaffel, the producers of Jane Eyre will keep the show running at least through Tony Award time.
Continuing the dark but hopeful musical has become a "crusade," said producer Annette Niemtzow, who, with her partners, had previously announced a May 20 close date at the Brooks Atkinson — until singer-songwriter Alanis Morrisette ponied up $150,000 to extend the life of the show. It was thought the cash would keep the show running only to May 27, but the box office figures ending May 20 were encouraging: An increase of $48,000 over the previous week. The producers decided to take a risk and soldier on.
Audiences have been leaping to their feet this week, and Niemtzow is convinced crowds will embrace the spiritual journey of the Charlotte Bronte character — if only they would take a chance on the show.
Asked if June 10 is a possible close date after the June 3 Tony Awards, which honor Broadway theatre, Niemtzow said every producer looks to close a week after Tonys if they are not winners, or of the box office is limp, but she expects a groundswell of support for Schaffel (nommed for Best Actress) and hopes for a reinvigorated box office.
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