The London production of The Witches of Eastwick wasn't the success producers hoped it might be. Despite very positive reaction to the revamped version of the show, which reopened on July 17, 2001, after its transfer to the Prince of Wales, Witches closed on Oct. 27, thus seemingly ending any hopes for a transfer for Broadway.
Still, the devil will have his due and there may be a U.S. tour of the Dempsey-Rowe show after all. Spokespersons for original producer Cameron Mackintosh and London star Clarke Peters said that talks were underway regarding a road production. The mounting would not be produced by Mackintosh, but licensed from him by Clear Channel, the corporate giant behind such titles as The Producers and Sweet Smell of Success. Discussions are still in the early phases, and no cities or dates have been settled upon. Peter's representative said that producers have talked to him about using the actor again, but that little information was available at this time.
Clarke Peters' performance in the lead role of the devil was praised in London.
Witches opened at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on July 18, 2000, before transferring a year later to the Prince of Wales Theatre. The transfer was designed to create a more intimate feel to the show, which also received new tunes, and some cast changes.
The cast featured Peters as Darryl van Horne, Josefina Gabrielle as Alexandra, Rebecca Thornhill as Sukie, and Joanna Riding as Jane. Riding was recently announced as going in as Eliza Doolittle in the West End hit, My Fair Lady. The original 2000 London cast starred Ian McShane as van Horne, Lucie Arnaz, Maria Friedman and Riding. Michael Crawford was originally announced to star as van Horne, but dropped out.
The Witches of Eastwick has book and lyrics by John Dempsey and Dana Rowe, whose musical The Fix premiered at the Donmar Warehouse in 1997. The show was directed by Eric Schaeffer, designed by Bob Crowley and choreographed by Bob Avian.
—By Robert Simonson