LOS ANGELES -- "Reprise!" will have a reprise.
The series of concert versions of Broadway musicals introduced last year at UCLA's Freud Playhouse will return for another three-show season, but with the length of each show's run being expanded from seven performances to 15. In 1997 the demand was so great that all shows were standing-room only, even for dress rehearsals.
The new season will include Pajama Game (May 16-17), The Threepenny Opera (Sept. 9-20), and Of Thee I Sing (Nov. 11-22).
Even without knowing titles or stars, 60 percent of last year's subscribers already have renewed for 1998, said managing director Marcia Seligson.
Unlike last year, stars won't be announced far in advance. "It was right to enroll them ahead of time last year, because we were brand-new and familiar star names helped get potential subscribers' attention," said Seligson. However, three of the five stars who were announced in the initial brochure later dropped out. Only Jason Alexander and Andrea Marcovicci remained, while Joel Grey, Tyne Daly and Keith Carradine had to be replaced. The idea behind the short, semi-staged runs is that stars who are usually committed to more lucrative film jobs can do theatre work without financial hardship.
Seligson acknowledged that the extra week of each run might discourage "one or two" stars from participating, but she also noted that since last year's success, "I'm getting phone calls and letters from stars."
This year's regular subscription rates range from $120 to $135, compared to last year's $95 to $110. Call (310) 825-7536 for information.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent