As expected, the new Angela Lansbury musical, The Visit, will open at the Broadway Theatre rather than the previously-speculated Winter Garden Theatre, with a first preview slated for Feb. 24, 2001.
Spokesperson Shirley Herz confirmed March 15, 2001, as the official Broadway opening date for the musical drawn from the Friedrich Durrenmatt play of the same name. Miss Saigon, the tenant there for nine years, will close Dec. 31.
The Frank Galati-helmed show gets a tryout at Boston's Colonial Theatre beginning previews Dec. 16. It opens there Dec. 28 and is expected to continue to Jan. 14 (with an extension beyond that likely). Ann Reinking (Fosse, Chicago) is choreographer, David Loud is musical director, Michael Gibson is orchestrator, Santo Loquasto is designing sets and costumes, Jonathan Deans is sound designer and Brian MacDevitt is lighting designer.
Philip Bosco, currently in Broadway's Copenhagen, will star opposite Lansbury, who plays a jillionaire who returns to the town where she was jilted and offers the depressed denizens wealth if they will kill her ex (Bosco). Barry Brown is producer of The Visit.
The Visit marks 75-year-old Tony Award-winner Lansbury's return to Broadway after more than 15 years (when she performed in a brief revival of Mame in the 1980s). She is beloved for her Broadway turns in Mame (Best Actress Musical Tony, 1966), Gypsy (Best Actress Musical Tony, 1975) and Sweeney Todd (Best Actress Musical Tony, 1979) and also starred in Jerry Herman's Dear World (Best Actress Musical Tony, 1969) and Stephen Sondheim's cult musical, Anyone Can Whistle (1964). She is known for film roles ("The Harvey Girls," "The Manchurian Candidate," "Gaslight") but earned superstardom as author-sleuth Jessica Fletcher in TV's "Murder She Wrote."
Although Broadway's Winter Garden Theatre is said to be one of Lansbury's favorite houses, having served as home to her Mame and Gypsy, the Broadway Theatre will be vacated by Miss Saigon Dec. 31 to make way for Lansbury and company.
The new musical is drawn from the 1956 play by Swiss writer Friedrich Durrenmatt, who wrote a dark comedy of revenge in which a former prostitute, now the richest woman in the world, pays a macabre visit to her hometown.
The lead roles were originally played in New York by Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne. A recent revival at the Roundabout Theatre Company featured Jane Alexander and Harris Yulin.