Broadway's Neil Simon has been quiet since Swan Lake closed there months ago, but music will once again fill the venue's 1,366 seats -- even before The Scarlet Pimpernel moves there in the fall. As reported in the NY Daily News, singer-songwriter Natalie Merchant will conclude her international tour with four nights at the Broadway house, June 8, 9, 11 and 12. Merchant came to public attention fronting the college-band-made-big, 10,000 Maniacs, whose albums ("Songs From The Wishing Chair," "In My Tribe," "Blind Man's Zoo" and "Unplugged") became a staple of post-new wave alternative radio. Merchant since left the band and recorded two commercially successful solo disks, "Tigerlily" and "Ophelia." Recent songs have included "Break Your Heart," "Wonder," "Life Is Sweet" and "Jealousy."
Christopher Dalston, representing Merchant's booking agency, told Playbill On-Line the Broadway venue was chosen because "she wanted to end the tour with "something a little special... a way for fans to see her in an intimate setting." He said possibilities are being investigated regarding recording the concert for CD and/or broadcast. Dalston also didn't rule out the possibility of adding another night or two if the gig sells out.
James L. Nederlander is producing the concert at the Neil Simon, 250 West 52nd St. For tickets ($50) and information call (212) 757-8646.