The Royal Family, a new musical directed and choreographed by Tommy Tune with a score by William (Falsettos) Finn, has rescheduled its world premiere at Seattle Repertory Theatre from December 1996 to April 1997, pushing its possible Broadway transfer at least into the 1997-98 season.
In their season announcement, Seattle Rep, which had previously announced the show for December 1996, said the show will preview April 26 and open April 30, 1997 for a limited engagement that will end May 25. Seattle Rep gave no reason for the change.
Hitherto titled The Royal Family of Broadway, the musical is titled simply The Royal Family in the Rep released.
Betsy Dollinger in the office of producers Fran and Barry Weissler (Grease!) said the musical, with a Richard Greenberg (Eastern Standard) libretto based on the 1927 George S. Kaufman-Edna Ferber comedy The Royal Family, had said the show would open in time to qualify for the 1997 Tony Awards, but now won't be eligible until at least 1998.
Dollinger could not immediately be reached for comment. No cast, Broadway theatre or specific New York dates have been announced.
The last Tune-Weissler collaboration was Busker Alley, which closed in Florida after Tune injured his foot. Dollinger said the Busker Alley project "is not dead" and that it may be resuscitated.
Trivia note: The Royal Family tells the Moon Over Buffalo-like story of a "civilian" who attempts to marry into a wildly flamboyant theatrical family. Kaufman and Ferber based the play on the Barrymore family, with one character bearing an uncanny resemblance to John Barrymore.
If the musical goes on as scheduled, that will be the third portrayal of John Barrymore on Broadway in a single year's time. Nichol Williamson starred in Jack: And Evening on the Town With John Barrymore in April. Christopher Plummer is scheduled to play the actor in Barrymore, scheduled to open on Broadway March 9, 1997.
-- By Robert Viagas