Latest on Status of NY Cabaret and Smoke on the Mountain

News   Latest on Status of NY Cabaret and Smoke on the Mountain The Off-Broadway musical Smoke on the Mountain has cancelled performances through Saturday Aug. 1 in the wake of a July 21 Times Square construction accident.

The Off-Broadway musical Smoke on the Mountain has cancelled performances through Saturday Aug. 1 in the wake of a July 21 Times Square construction accident.

Ticketholders for subsequent performances are being asked to call the show's "Barricade Hotline" -- (212) 580-9272 -- for updates.

Roundabout Theatre's hit Broadway production of Cabaret will remain on hiatus at least through Aug. 9, according to a production spokesperson (July 30), but more cancellations may be announced. For information on Roundabout ticket refunds or exchanges, call (212) 719-1300.

Although the Avenue of the Americas entrance to New York's West 44th Street was reopened to some pedestrian traffic July 30, the Seventh Avenue end is still closed, so through-traffic is still not being permitted. That's bad news for the Smoke On The Mountain, which like Cabaret has been closed since the construction accident. The Lamb's Theatre (home of Smoke) is located on 44th Street.

"Even if the street reopens," production spokesperson David Rothenberg said, "there's no guarantee we'll start immediately. I heard from one person that because of some insurance factor I don't understand, we might not be able to go back up until Monday night. Right now we just don't know." On July 28, Jerome M. Hauer, director of the Mayor's Office of Emergency Management (OEM), said at a press conference that Cabaret would be "closed for a number of weeks." That could still be true, of course, depending on how soon the area reopens for business and pedestrian traffic.

"We realize what a devastating impact this [construction accident] is having on the Roundabout Theatre," said Hauer. "We are trying to help them all we can."

Ten members of the Cabaret staff were allowed July 30 to enter the Kit Kat Klub, which has been closed since the July 21 calamity. They retrieved costumes and musical instruments so rehearsals of the ill-fated musical could resume at the Roundabout's rehearsal hall on 45th Street, according to production spokesman Adrian Bryan-Brown.

"I think it's just going to be a waiting game," Bryan-Brown said. The Cabaret producers reportedly are looking into the possibility of moving the production to another theatre.

Witnesses reported sets being removed too, but Bryan-Brown said they were in error.

Cabaret was performing at the Kit Kat Klub on 43rd Street, just feet away from the Conde Nast tower where a July 21 construction accident caused the block to be closed.

Read about Other Notable Interruptions in Theatre Runs

That does not, however, necessarily mean Broadway has seen the last of Tony-winning star Natasha Richardson, who was due to depart Aug. 2. Production spokesman Adrian Bryan-Brown said she may agree to stay in New York beyond that date and do some performances as Sally Bowles. No word on Jennifer Jason Leigh, who was scheduled to assume to role Aug. 4.

The show will have lost an estimated $1 million by Aug. 2, according to Bryan-Brown. Cabaret had played 141 Broadway performances before the disaster.

Asked who would pay for the theatre's mounting losses, Hauer said, "they need to file claims with Tishman and Durst," the building's contractor and owner, respectively. Hauer added that, to his understanding the Roundabout was "looking at some other venues" for the show.

Bryan-Brown confirmed a July 29 report in the Daily News that the theatre was considering other spaces for the production but stipulated that, at this point, there were no plans to move the show. He also pointed out that Cabaret would only move to a venue that met the artistic demands of the production. Cabaret director Sam Mendes' environmental staging of the musical duplicates the atmosphere of a pre World War II nightclub. The Roundabout and director Mendes searched for months for an appropriate home for the show before settling on the former Henry Miller Theatre, which was converted into the Kit Kat Klub.

Roundabout Artistic Director Todd Haimes told The Daily News that the Shuberts, the Nederlanders and Jujamcyn, Broadway's three major theatre owners, had inquired about moving Cabaret to one of their houses, suggesting the Cort, O'Neill and Atkinson theatres. Haimes also said he was considering a move to the old Studio 54. He added, however, that such moves would by "phenomenally expensive."

Matters on 43rd Street were exacerbated on July 27, when an eight-foot long aluminum pipe fell from one of the top floors of the troubled tower onto the nearby Kit Kat Klub. The immense netting which has been painstakingly draped around the Conde Nast building caught the pipe and no harm came to any person or the theatre. However, Sunny Mandel, a spokesperson for the OEM, confirmed that if the object had fallen at a different angle, it could have caused significant damage. The fallen pipe reemphasized the existing danger posed by tower.

On a happier note: Side Man and You Never Can Tell, two other Roundabout productions which were forced to close by the accident, resumed performances July 28. They are housed in the Criterion Center at Seventh Avenue and 45th Street. Seventh Avenue was reopened to vehicle and pedestrian traffic July 27.

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