March 5 marks the last date Broadway audiences can see The Price, a well-received revival of Arthur Miller's drama. The Shubert Organization, which owns the Royale Theatre, invoked the stop clause on the Broadway revival when sales figures fell below a certain level.
Weekly reports from the League of American Theatres and Producers had indicated that the drama was operating at roughly 51 percent capacity.
Michael Frayn's Copenhagen will go into the Royale, a production spokesperson said, with previews starting March 23. Copenhagen will open April 11.
Only two straight plays are currently running on Broadway, Noel Coward's Waiting in the Wings and Peter Shaffer's Amadeus. Other productions that are either non-musical or not strictly musical include the one-person shows by Jackie Mason (Much Ado About Everything) and Barry Humphries as Dame Edna in Dame Edna: The Royal Tour).
As reported earlier, the summer revival of Arthur Miller's The Price at the Williamstown Theatre Festival opened its autumn run at Broadway's Royale Theatre Nov. 15, 1999. The Williamstown revival of Miller's play ran Aug. 18-29 at the fest's Main Stage. On Broadway, The Price will have played 20 previews and 128 regular performances. The 1967 tale of two brothers rooting through their dead father's belongings, directed by James Naughton, stars the same cast seen at the Massachusetts fest -- Jeffrey DeMunn, Bob Dishy, Lizbeth Mackay and Harris Yulin.
The play deals in Miller's strong suit: Shuffling through the emotional detritus of sibling rivalry, responsibility and familial bitterness. When the siblings reunite, the poor-policeman brother, Victor (DeMunn), who stayed attached to the family, upbraids his rich-doctor brother (Yulin), who abandoned their father. Dishy plays an aged furniture dealer, Mackay is Victor's wife.
Producer David Richenthal said the staging he saw at the Williamstown Festival was so tight that it prompted him to take on the idea of a Broadway remount as the sole producer (a Broadway rarity). The small-cast play is at the same theatre where the three-actor Art was a hit for two seasons.
"This is a hugely-underrated play of Arthur's," Richenthal told Playbill On-Line. "It's in the family of Salesman and View From the Bridge and All My Sons. What it needs is to be played by a string quartet otherwise it doesn't sing." Richenthal was one of the producers of Broadway's recent revival of Death of a Salesman, which closed Nov. 7 at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre.
Recreating their festival designs for Broadway are Michael Brown (set), Laurie Churba (costume), Rui Rita (lighting) and Jerry Yager (sound).
The play's examination of siblings in relation to their lost parents is one of the factors that attracted Richenthal: "I do have siblings," he said, "and this does for siblings what Salesman does for fathers and sons, although this play also speaks to parenting..."
A previous Broadway revival of The Price was staged by the Roundabout Theatre Company (at the Criterion Center) in 1992-93. Directed by John Tillinger, it starred Hector Elizondo, Eli Wallach, Debra Mooney and Joe Spano. It was nominated for the Best Revival Tony Award.
Pat Hingle and Arthur Kennedy played the brothers in the Broadway original in the 1967-68 season. Miller was nominated for a 1968 Tony Award for his play, but the prize went to Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.
Tickets for the show range from $40- $65. The Royale is located at 242 West 45th Street. For tickets call Telecharge at (212) 239-6200.