Call it the summertime blues -- one of the more unexpected Broadway closings this month is The Sound Of Music, which seemed on a course to last through the summer but instead announced a closing date of June 27. Now the show will shutter even quicker: June 20, after 39 previews and 532 regular performances.
Grosses for the week ending June 13 were up significantly -- to $415,280 -- from $352,635 the week before, but the show was still filling only 68.57 percent of the Martin Beck Theatre.
The Sound of Music opened March 12, 1998 and celebrated its first anniversary with a new cast: Richard Chamberlain and Laura Benanti, who both went in March 10. Chamberlain was to have done a 17-week New York stint before embarking, with Meg Tolin as Maria, on a national tour, beginning Aug. 24 in Minneapolis. Weeks ago, the New York Post reported that Chamberlain's salary was in the $50,000 range, but producers -- who wouldn't confirm the figure -- noted that Chamberlain's box office clout was certainly worth what they were paying him.
Chamberlain, who received excellent notices in the New York press, is the revival's third Captain Von Trapp. Michael Siberry was the first, followed by Dennis Parlato, who arrived Nov. 4, 1998.
As for the New York cast, Laura Benanti is the second Maria Rainer, replacing Rebecca Luker, who originated the revival role. Another addition to the cast is Lenny Wolpe as Max Detweiler. Furthermore, Jeanne Lehman assumed the part of the Mother Abbess Feb. 2. The 1959 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical tells the story of a singing would-be nun who transforms the lives of an Austrian widower submarine captain and his seven children through the power of goodness and song. She abandons the convent life to become the captain's wife -- just as the Nazi anschluss makes him a prime target for drafting into the German navy. Songs include the title tune, "Edelweiss," "My Favorite Things," "The Lonely Goatherd" and "Something Good."
For tickets and information on The Sound Of Music at the Martin Beck Theatre call (212) 239-6200.
Dates for the national tour, which will also feature Broadway's Gretl, Ashley Rose Orr, are as follows:
Aug. 24-Sept. 5: Orpheum Theatre, Minneapolis, MN
Sept. 14-19: Fox Theatre, Atlanta, GA
Sept. 21-26: Lyric Opera House, Baltimore, MD
Oct. 5-10: Jackson Hall, Nashville, TN
Oct. 12-17: Clowes Hall, Indianapolis, IN
Oct. 19-Nov. 7: Colonial Theatre, Boston, MA
Nov. 9-21: Palace Theatre, Cleveland, OH
Nov. 23-28: Palace Theatre, Columbus, OH
Nov. 30-Dec. 5: Bob Carr, Orlando, FL
Dec. 7-19: Tampa Bay PAC, Tampa, FL
Dec. 21-26: Jones Hall, Houston, TX
Dec. 28-Jan. 2, 2000: Peace Center, Greenville, SC
Jan. 4-9, 2000: Kravis Center, Palm Beach, FL
Jan. 11-23, 2000: Merriam Theatre, Philadelphia, PA
Jan. 25-30, 2000: TBA
Feb. 1-6, 2000: Fox Theatre, St. Louis, MO
Feb. 8-13, 2000: TBA
Feb. 15-27, 2000: TBA
Feb. 29-March 5, 2000: TBA
March 7-12, 2000: TBA
March 14-19, 2000: Gammage Auditorium, Tempe, AZ
March 21-April 2, 2000: Orange County PAC, Costa Mesa, CA
April 4-9, 2000: Civic Theatre, Portland, OR
April 11-23, 2000: Paramount Theatre, Seattle
April 25-May 7, 2000: TBA
May 16-21, 2000: TBA
May 23-28, 2000: TBA
As usual, June has been the cruelest month for New York shows. On June 13, Via Dolorosa, The Lonesome West, Not About Nightingales, You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown and The Civil War all vacated their theatres, while June 27 will bring the closing of Ring Round The Moon and Night Must Fall, along with several Off-Broadway shutterings.