After 10 previews and 121 regular performances, the first commercial revival of the 1972 musical revue, Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weill, will end its run at the Triad Theater, Dec. 3. Performances for the Off-Broadway production began Aug. 11, for an opening Aug. 19.
The show was first produced in 1972 at the Theatre de Lys on Christopher St., Berlin to Broadway has been done frequently at the regional level, but not in New York City. Theatre Ten Ten presented an award winning Off-Off Broadway showcase earlier this year, but the Triad run is the first commercial revival of the show, according to production sources.
Asked about the reason for the closing, production spokesperson Beck Lee told Playbill On-Line (Nov. 28), “We were extremely popular with our core audience and Weill-ophiles, the literate intelligentsia of the Upper West Side, and people nostalgic for the music of Weill. But it didn’t catch on with a broader audience. Despite very good word of mouth, that narrow audience base needed to be expanded and wasn’t successfully expanded. We needed a lot more advertising and promotion of the show, especially with so much competition going on. The median age of our audience was so high it was ridiculous. We distinguished our audience by `with canes or without canes.’”
Over the last three weeks, The Triad had also been presenting the Gershwin tribute revue, American Rhapsody, which will continue after Berlin closes.
Former Stomp company manager Laura Heller makes her production bow with Berlin to Broadway. Her associate producers are Carol Ostrow (Beau Jest, After Play) and Edwin W. Schloss. Ten Ten director Hal Simons helms the Triad run and created new staging for the show. Three of the Theatre Ten Ten cast members for Berlin to Broadway, Lorinda Lisitza, Bjorn Olsson and Michael Winther, signed on for the Triad run as well. The four-member cast is rounded out with the addition of Veronica Mittenzwei. Richard Todd Adams eventually replaced Winther in early November. Coincidentally, cast member Lisitza's cousin, Jerry Lanning, was in the original 1972 cast, production sources told Playbill On-Line.
The creative team comprises noted musical director Eric Stern (Parade, Carousel, Show Boat, Gypsy), costume designer Suzy Benzinger (Saturday Night Fever, Miss Saigon), lighting designer Phil Monat (Visiting Mr. Green) and set designer Bill Barclay (Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill, and the film, "She's the One."
Tickets are $45. The Triad Theatre is located at 158 W. 72 St. For tickets call TeleCharge at (212) 239-6200.
- By Murdoch McBride
and David Lefkowitz