Report: Gypsy May Replace Chicago as Shubert Tenant

News   Report: Gypsy May Replace Chicago as Shubert Tenant
The Tony-winning revival of Chicago may be moving theatres to make way for another musical revival.

The Tony-winning revival of Chicago may be moving theatres to make way for another musical revival.

The New York Post reports that the current tenant of Broadway's Shubert Theatre, Chicago, may vacate its home on West 44th Street for another, smaller house to make way for the upcoming revival of Gypsy, which will star two-time Tony winner Bernadette Peters as Mama Rose under the direction of Sam Mendes. The Shuberts reportedly want the legendary Shubert Theatre to be the jewelbox for the much-anticipated Gypsy, starring Bernadette Peters.

The Post reported that Barry and Fran Weissler, who produced the Broadway mounting of Chicago after its acclaimed run at City Center's Encores! series, are in talks with the Shubert Organization to move the Kander and Ebb musical to another venue. This would mark the second Broadway move for the musical, which opened at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on Nov. 14, 1996, before heading to its new home at the Shubert on Feb. 11, 1997.

The Shubert Organization, which runs and owns the Shubert Theatre, would be able to could evict Chicago should the show's box-office receipts fall below a certain figure stipulated in its contract for two concurrent weeks. This "stop clause" is part of contracts for all Broadway productions.

* Although no theatre has been set, casting is currently underway for the eagerly awaited revival of Jule Styne, Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents' Gypsy. The last Broadway mounting of the famed musical cast "Cagney & Lacey" star Tyne Daly in the role created by Ethel Merman. The 1989 Daly revival — which was co-produced by the Weisslers — won a Tony for Best Revival of a Musical as well as one for its leading lady.

Now in its sixth year on Broadway, Chicago's box-office take has continued to wane. For the week of June 17-23 the total gross was $405,758 or 66.2 percent of capacity; the week of June 10-16 brought in only $357,015 or just 56.4 percent of capacity. A few years earlier during the same period — June 8 14, 1998 — the box-office figure was $676,908 or 100.2 percent of capacity.

Bob Fosse, John Kander and Fred Ebb's Chicago, presented by Barry and Fran Weissler, plays the Shubert Theatre, 225 W. 44th Street. It won the Tony for Best Revival of a Musical in 1997 as well as awards for actors Bebe Neuwirth and James Naughton, director Walter Bobbie, lighting designer Ken Billington and choreographer Ann Reinking. The original production was directed and choreographed by the late Bob Fosse. For ticket information, call (212) 239-6200.

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