Roundabout's Todd Haimes Calls Construction Accident's Effect "Devastating

News   Roundabout's Todd Haimes Calls Construction Accident's Effect "Devastating
 
The Roundabout Theatre Company's Artistic Director Todd Haimes is not mincing words about the effect the Times Square construction accident is going to have on his company's business. "I think it's going to be devastating," he told Playbill On-Line. "Though it's hard to answer the question completely, because we don't know the timetable for the Kit Kit Klub yet."

The Roundabout Theatre Company's Artistic Director Todd Haimes is not mincing words about the effect the Times Square construction accident is going to have on his company's business. "I think it's going to be devastating," he told Playbill On-Line. "Though it's hard to answer the question completely, because we don't know the timetable for the Kit Kit Klub yet."

The July 21 calamity, which sent tons of metal scaffolding and debris hurtling down upon Broadway and 43rd Street, resulted in the closure of the lower section of Times Square, where three of the Roundabout's four currently running shows are playing -- You Never Can Tell, Side Man and the enormously popular Cabaret. The company has been forced to cancel an entire week's worth of Cabaret performances and has so far suspended You Never Can Tell and Side Man through July 23. (The fate of the July 24 shows will be decided this morning.)

Haimes said the cancellations have cost the theatre some $500,000 in refunded tickets; $280,000 of that loss coming from Cabaret, the Tony-winning revival which is arguable the hottest show in town. "The costs don't stop," with the performances, said Haimes. "We still have to pay the bills -- the utilities, the rentals." He said he couldn't recall a stoppage of operations as severe in the history of the Roundabout Theatre.

In addition to the dark theatres, Roundabout's administrative offices have been silent since Tuesday. Since then, Haimes has worked out of his home on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. "I'd say it's put a crimp in the operations," he said, with a weary laugh. "We can't even get into our offices to get our subscription lists to inform the ticketholders. We've had to work from various offices around the city."

Staff and theatregoers aren't the only ones disappointed by the week's events. Mary Louise Wilson, who plays Fraulein Schneider in Cabaret, was to give her last performance on July 23. Instead, her run unexpectedly ended last Sunday. "She's devastated," observed Haimes. Also due to depart is the production's Tony-winning star, Natasha Richardson, who's last night is Aug. 2. Haimes said "she's really concerned that she won't be able to do her last performances." Haimes believes the Roundabout can ride out the lost shows over the course of the season. For now, though, he'd just like things to get back to normal. "My concern is that it drags on, at the Kit Kat Club in particular."

Those seeking refunds or exchanges on tickets to Cabaret, You Never Can Tell and Side Man are instructed to call (212) 719-1300.

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