The good news for Warren Leight's Side Man keeps on coming. After a praised Off-Broadway run last spring and an equally praised (and extended) current run on Broadway at the Roundabout Theatre Company, Side Man is now transferring to Broadway's John Golden Theatre for an open-ended commercial run. After ending its Roundabout run Sept. 13, the play will reopen sometime in early October, with exact dates to be announced, according to spokesman Gary Springer (reached Sept. 9).
[The final Roundabout performance, scheduled for 2 PM Sept. 13, has been moved to 2:30 PM so as not to conflict with the "Broadway On Broadway" concert in Times Square earlier the same afternoon.]
On the basis of its brief New York bow at CSC, Mar. 3-Apr. 10, Side Man was nominated as Best Play by the Outer Circle Critics for its annual awards. It will be eligible for the Tony Award in 1999.
After the play's opening (to raves), negotiations to move the play into an extended run had been intense. "I think the Irish-English negotiations were easier," cracked a relieved Leight. The Roundabout transfer opened June 3.
One of the season's most consistently acclaimed dramas, the play deals with a dying breed of 1950s-vintage jazz musicians -- in particular, the chaotically dysfunctional family of one of these musicians. Leight has admitted that much of the material in the play mirrors to his own childhood. Most of the original cast -- Michael Mastro, Frank Wood, Kevin Geer, Angelica Torn, Robert Sella and Joe Taylor -- made the big move uptown with the play. Wendy Makkena replaced Edie Falco for Broadway. It is not yet certain which cast members will make the move to the Golden. Springer said negotiations with the actors are underway.