Resurfacing?: Metamorphoses Considering Move to Off-Broadway’s Little Shubert

News   Resurfacing?: Metamorphoses Considering Move to Off-Broadway’s Little Shubert The Mary Zimmerman-helmed Broadway production of Metamorphoses, which recently announced it would close Feb. 16 at Circle in the Square, is considering a highly unorthodox move to the Off-Broadway Little Shubert Theatre, a source close to the production told Playbill On-Line.

Ben Sprecher, who runs the Little Shubert, confirmed that the Ovid-inspired play, which won Zimmerman a Best Director Tony Award, was one of several works circling the theatre. If the show does make the move, it will complete the peculiar trajectory of having gone from a nonprofit Off-Broadway run to a commercial Broadway life and finally a third life as a commercial Off Broadway property.

It will also be, without a doubt, the only Tony-winning production to be found Off-Broadway.

Sprecher said an announcement about the next occupant of the Little Shubert would be made next Wednesday, Jan. 29.

Metamorphoses did not wish to leave Circle in the Square, but was forced out. The official reason for its closing was that the production fell below the Circle in the Square Theatre’s stop clause for two consecutive weeks during the month of December 2002. A release stated Metamorphoses "is being forced to give its final performance." The title long ago made back its investment of $1.7 million and has reportedly made money for all but four of its weeks on Broadway. When it closes on Feb. 16, it will have played 401 performances and 13 previews at the Circle in the Square.

Though no official word has been issued yet, Yasmina Reza's Life x 3 has been mentioned as the next tenant at the theatre. The new Little Shubert (which has only hosted Tommy Tune’s short-lived White Tie and Tails) has a wide, roomy stage and severely raked seating—two things the Zimmerman show, with its famous 27-foot wide rectangular pool in which the actors play, desperately needs.

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Metamorphoses stages the great transformation myths of Ovid with additional material compiled by Zimmerman from other sources, including the poet Rainer Maria Rilke. King Midas, Orpheus and Eurydice, and Cupid and Psyche all make appearances during the evening, wherein they change physically, emotionally and mentally.

Metamorphoses transferred to The Great White Way on Feb. 21, after a successful run at Off-Broadway's Second Stage. It has won the Drama Desk, Drama League and Lucille Lortel prizes for Best Play and earned a Tony Award for Best Direction for director Zimmerman.

The Broadway cast mirrored the Off-Broadway ensemble, and includes Anjali Bhimani, Raymond Fox, Kyle Hall, Doug Hara, Felicity Jones, Chris Kipiniak, Louise Lamson, Erik Lochtefeld, Mariann Mayberry (who replaced Heidi Stillman during the Off-Broadway run) and Lisa Tejero.

The Broadway run is produced by Roy Gabay, Robyn Goodman, Allan S. Gordon, Elan McAllister, D. Harris/M. Swinsky, Ruth Hendel, Sharon Karmazin, R.L. Wreghitt/J. Bergere, in association with Second Stage Theatre (Carole Rothman, artistic director; Carol Fishman, managing director).

Circle in the Square is at 1633 Broadway at 50th Street. Broadway tickets will range $30-$75. For tickets, call Tele-Charge at (212) 239-6200.