Exactly one day after the Off-Broadway musical Exactly Like You announced it would extend to May 30, the producers have reversed that decision and the show will instead close, as scheduled May 9. Apparently actors' schedules became too difficult to coordinate for the extension.
Production spokesperson Kevin Rehac told Playbill On-Line (May 6) producers have been checking out the show in recent weeks with an eye towards a commercial move, but it's too early to tell whether the musical will resurface this summer or fall. By the May 9 evening performance, Exactly Like You will have run 16 previews and 31 regular performances at the York Theater.
Seen last year in a workshop production at Goodspeed Opera House's Norma Terris Theatre, Exactly Like You, by Cy Coleman and A.E. Hotchner, began its New York premiere March 31 and officially opened April 14.
Patricia Birch, whose choreography was recently seen in both Parade, at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre, and Band in Berlin, directs the piece, as well as providing the dancing.
Heading the 12-member cast are Lauren Ward (Violet, 1776) and Michael McGrath (Little Me). Also featured are Robert Bartley, Frank Gravis, Tony Hastings, Doug Katsaros, Donna Kelly, Donya Lane, Kate Levering, Susan Mansur (Ruthless!), Edward Staudenmayer and Blair Ross. The musical marks the first-ever Off-Broadway premiere of a new musical from Coleman, whose catalog includes Sweet Charity, Barnum, The Will Rogers Follies and The Life.
In other Exactly Like You news, Varese Sarabande, which generally records most York shows, has postponed its decision on whether to put Exactly Like You on CD. A production spokesperson (reached May 5) said the deal was postponed "but not necessarily dead."
The May 1998 Goodspeed production was also directed and choreographed by Birch, who choreographed the original Grease, A Little Night Music and Pacific Overtures. Featured in the cast were Barbara Walsh ( Big and Falsettos) and McGrath (Forbidden Broadway, Swinging on a Star and The Coconuts).
Exactly Like You, which Coleman described as "a courtroom drama, but very funny," has lyrics by Coleman and A.E. Hotchner, his collaborator on the short-run 1988 musical Welcome to the Club, which dealt with another part of the legal system, an alimony jail. Coleman told Playbill On-Line that the two musicals are closely related, dealing the many of the same issues, having some of the same characters (including country singer Winona Shook) and rescuing some of the earlier show's songs, including the ballad "At My Side" and "Don't Mess Around With Your Mother-in-Law" which employed a raunchier verb in its Broadway incarnation.
For tickets and information on Exactly Like You call (212) 935- 5820.
In related news, folks catching the last days of Exactly Like You can also take in a theater-related exhibit in the York's lobby at the Citicorp Center. Posters by Tom Morrow, who designed for such shows as Zorba, She Loves Me, Fiddler on the Roof and Cabaret, will be on view through May 9.
-- By Robert Simonson and David Lefkowitz