Riverdance-on Broadway, the international Irish-flavored dance phenomenon which laid claim to Broadway's Gershwin Theatre back in March 2000, will end its long and oft-extended run on Aug. 26. It will have played 13 previews and 605 regular performances. The Broadway company will not tour, though some cast members will go into the other two current Riverdance touring troupes.
The show originally visited New York as a limited engagement but quickly lengthened its stay to meet demand. Its first extension was announced before the show had even officially opened. Production spokesperson Merle Frimark told Playbill On-Line (Aug. 21), "We came here for three months and stayed for 18, and played for over 1,170,000 people. Everybody's very happy with the way it went."
Riverdance had previously played New York, but never Broadway specifically; past engagements in 1996, 1997 and 1998 had been at Radio City Music Hall. Irish actor Liam Neeson's recorded voice is featured in Riverdance—On Broadway as he recites the works of W.B. Yeats, Seamus Heaney and Arthur O'Shaughnessy.
Champion dancers Pat Roddy and Eileen Martin were initially featured among the 80 dancers, musicians and singers who have popularized the show around the world. In addition, Flamenco star Maria Pages, The Lion King's Tsidii Le Loka and Irish singer Brian Kennedy joined the production.
Produced by Moya Doherty and directed by John McColgan, Riverdance originated in 1995 at the Point Theatre in Dublin. The Gershwin Theatre is located at West 50th Street and Eighth Avenue. To order tickets call Ticketmaster (212) 307-4100. The Gershwin's next tenant will be Trevor Nunn's revival of Oklahoma!