As expected, the much-publicized Westport Country Playhouse production of Thornton Wilder's Our Town, starring Paul Newman, will be the next show to occupy Broadway's Booth Theatres, Playbill On-Line has learned. No official announcement has been made, but the booking is a near certainty according to sources.
The play will be a limited run, lasting nine weeks. Much of the cast will mirror Westport's, where Newman played the folksy Stage Manager, Jeffrey DeMunn was Mr. Webb, Frank Converse and Jayne Atkinson were Mr. and Mrs. Gibbs and Stephen Spinella played Simon Stimpson.
Other people in the Playhouse cast included Mia Dillon as Mrs. Soames. Finally, Ben Fox as George Gibbs and Maggie Lacey as Emily Gibbs. (Lacey is currently Off Broadway in the Keen Company's Three-Cornered Moon).
Our Town will be the first Westport production to transfer to Broadway in nearly 15 years, since the musical Mail. In days gone by, such Westport-to Manhattan transfers were common. Famous examples were Come Back Little Sheba and Butterflies Are Free.
The show closed as scheduled on June 22 at the Playhouse, earning respectable reviews. James Naughton directed, and would direct again. The New York Post has speculated that, in order for such a short run to be profitable, tickets would sell for $100—making the show an event production along the lines of the Kevin Spacey The Iceman Cometh of a few seasons back.
The Roundabout Theatre Company recently canceled its proposed staging of Our Town, citing as a reason the newly expensive actors salaries settled upon in the recent Actors' Equity negotiations.