A highly successful run of Theatre-A-Go-Go!'s campy adaptation of Valley Of The Dolls will close Off-Broadway, Nov. 2, because of other commitments facing the cast, who will return to the theatre's homebase in L.A.
Jeff Witte, Treasurer of Theatre-A-Go-Go! Told Playbill On-Line that a national tour of the show will happen next year, though specifics haven't been worked out yet. Asked why the hit show couldn't find a replacement cast in New York, Witte explained that Valley Of The Dolls, because it requires impersonations and special characterizations, needs this particular cast because it created the piece. (A previous Go-Go! Production that came to New York was The Real Live Brady Bunch.)
Jon Kean, co-producer of Valley Of The Dolls, elaborated on the reasons for the closings. "People really do need to get home to their families, they were really uprooted. And then we've got a tour starting at the end of this year [with Miami, Chicago and San Francisco close to definite]. It's just time to close it. We ran it for six months in L.A. and sold out most of the time, and we still closed when it was time, even though there were still people waiting three hours before the show for tickets."
Isn't that rather masochistic? "You don't get rich doing theatre," Kean reminded me. "Cast-members were ever-so-slightly poorer, week by week, staying in New York. They're non-Union, and putting money towards getting into the Union would have been financially impossible given the time constraints. Besides, we were selling out for awhile, but houses have not been so full recently. We got rave reviews, and word of mouth is, I'd say, 98%, but the publicity just isn't there."
When the troupe goes back to L.A., not only will they be working on theatre projects, but they're developing two film scripts and a television project in the next couple of months (and, presumably, before the Dolls tour kicks in. The 1967 story of Dolls follows three ambitious young women who come to New York seeking fame and fortune and wind up in a cesspool of sex, drugs, booze and big hair.
Produced by Ron Delsener, the trimmed-down version of the Helen Deutsch/Dorothy Kingsley screenplay based on Jacqueline Susann's trashy novel, has been running at Circle in the Square (Downtown) and will continue there to Nov. 2.
The early closing came as a shock to Jim Randolph and the Bill Evans press office, who were under the assumption that they'd be handling the hit show throughout its New York open run. Asked why the show's publicists weren't informed of the closing, Delsener/Slater spokesperson Nina Zaborowsky told Playbill On-Line the Evans office was never actually hired to work on the project. An angry Jim Randolph refused to comment on the Delsener situation but did state, categorically, that the Evans office would not be handling the Dolls tour.
For tickets ($30) and information, call (212) 307-4100.
-- By David Lefkowitz