Post-New Year's is, traditionally, a brutal time for Broadway and Off Broadway shows, because the tourists vacate New York and the regulars hibernate and have less spare time. Here's the casualty list (as of Dec. 26) of NY shows that will see only the briefest glimpse of 1998:
Side Show - Ends Jan. 3 after 31 previews and 91 regular performances at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. This musical look at Daisy & Violet Hilton, real-life-based Siamese twins who hope for a normal life received mixed reviews but couldn't conquer the perception that its subject matter was an odd one for a musical. Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner star in this musical by Henry Krieger and Bill Russell.
Triumph Of Love - Closes Jan. 4 after a Broadway run of two and a half months. Betty Buckley, F. Murray Abraham, Nancy Opel and Susan Egan star in this farcical musical, based on a Marivaux comedy. The musical opened Oct. 23 at the Royale Theatre. The producers knew they had to either close the show or move it to another house, because Art had dibs on the Royale (previews begin Feb. 12 for an opening March 1).
A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum - This long-running hit started with Nathan Lane as Pseudolus, continued with Whoopi Goldberg, went on with David Alan Grier and now ends its run with Bob Amaral in the lead. Forum closes Jan. 4 at the St. James Theatre.
Ivanov - Ends its scheduled run Jan. 4 after 31 previews and 51 regular performances. This is the American premiere of David Hare's adaptation of Anton Chekhov's first full-length play. Previews began Oct. 23 for an opening Nov. 20 at Lincoln Center Theatre's Vivian Beaumont house. Kevin Kline stars, alongside Hope Davis and Jayne Atkinson. A Christmas Carol - This Madison Square Garden perennial ends this year's installment Jan. 4. Hal Linden and Roddy McDowall have been doing double-duty as Scrooge in Alan Menken & Lynn Ahren's musicalization of Charles Dickens' novella.
Grease! - This long-running revival of an even longer-running musical will hang on past New Year's but end Jan. 25 at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre.
Defying Gravity - The show ends Jan. 4 after 17 previews and 72 regular performances at Off-Broadway's American Place Theatre. Previews began Oct. 18 for an opening Nov. 2. Candy Buckley, Lecy Goranson and Jonathan Hadary star in this fictional adaptation of the Christa McAuliffe story.
Mere Mortals - At its Jan. 4 close, David Ives' slate of one-act comedies (shortened from the title Mere Mortals And Others when it started at Primary Stages) will have played 166 performances at Off Broadway's John Houseman Theatre. Nancy Opel left the show mid-run to join another January casualty, Triumph Of Love.
Three Days Of Rain - Richard Greenberg's drama, with Patricia Clarkson, John Slattery and Bradley Whitford, ends its run at Manhattan Theatre Club Jan. 4, after 24 previews and 65 performances. The show began previews Oct. 21 and opened Nov. 11. Evan Yionoulis directs this romantic mystery as an architect's children trace the events of his life via a journal he left behind.
Filumena - A Jan. 4 closing date is actually good news for this comedy; it was originally supposed to end Dec. 7. This Blue Light Theatre company production, starring Maria Tucci, opened Nov. 6 after starting previews Oct. 22. James Naughton, a Tony-winner for his performance in Chicago, directs.
Never The Sinner - An export from VA's Signature Theatre, John Logan's drama ends its extended run at the American Jewish Theatre, Jan. 4. Jason Patrick Bowcutt and Michael Solomon play real-life murderers Leopold & Loeb in this tense psychological drama. The show began previews Nov. 22 and opened Nov. 30.
Circus Oz - This 20-year-old, Australian performance troupe specializes in balancing and aerial acts (and, a la Cirque du Soleil, no animals). This limited run at the New Victory Theatre began Nov. 20 and ends Jan. 4.