The Visit Ditches Boston; Will Open on Broadway

News   The Visit Ditches Boston; Will Open on Broadway The new Angela Lansbury musical, The Visit, will now open directly on Broadway, having cancelled a pre-Broadway Boston run, reported the New York Post (July 8). The new Kander and Ebb musical was to have run at Boston's Colonial Theatre, beginning previews Dec. 16 for a Dec. 28 opening and a stay through Jan. 14.

The new Angela Lansbury musical, The Visit, will now open directly on Broadway, having cancelled a pre-Broadway Boston run, reported the New York Post (July 8). The new Kander and Ebb musical was to have run at Boston's Colonial Theatre, beginning previews Dec. 16 for a Dec. 28 opening and a stay through Jan. 14.

The first preview at the Broadway Theatre in New York City is slated for Feb. 24, 2001.

This news follows a July 7 report that The Visit had lost a large chunk of its financing. The Post said that producers would save $1 million by scratching the Boston stop.

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Terrence McNally (Master Class, Love! Valour! Compassion!) is penning the Visit book and John Kander and Fred Ebb (Cabaret, Chicago) are the songwriters. Frank Galati is the show's director. Ann Reinking (Fosse, Chicago) is choreographer, David Loud is musical director, Michael Gibson is orchestrator, Santo Loquasto is designing sets and costumes, Jonathan Deans is sound designer and Brian MacDevitt is lighting designer.

Philip Bosco, currently in Broadway's Copenhagen, will star opposite Lansbury, who plays a jillionaire who returns to the town where she was jilted and offers the depressed denizens wealth if they will kill her ex (Bosco).

Barry Brown is producer of The Visit.

The Visit marks 75-year-old Tony Award-winner Lansbury's return to Broadway after more than 15 years (when she performed in a brief revival of Mame in the 1980s). She is beloved for her Broadway turns in Mame (Best Actress Musical Tony, 1966), Gypsy (Best Actress Musical Tony, 1975) and Sweeney Todd (Best Actress Musical Tony, 1979) and also starred in Jerry Herman's Dear World (Best Actress Musical Tony, 1969) and Stephen Sondheim's cult musical, Anyone Can Whistle (1964). She is known for film roles ("The Harvey Girls," "The Manchurian Candidate," "Gaslight") but earned superstardom as author-sleuth Jessica Fletcher in TV's "Murder She Wrote."

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The new musical is drawn from the 1956 play by Swiss writer Friedrich Durrenmatt, who wrote a dark comedy of revenge in which a former prostitute, now the richest woman in the world, pays a macabre visit to her hometown.

The lead roles were originally played in New York by Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne. A recent revival at the Roundabout Theatre Company featured Jane Alexander and Harris Yulin.

-- Robert Simonson