Nothing has changed," said Steel Pier spokesperson Michael Hartman. "We're playing in the same field we've been playing in. We're doing business and we have a healthy advance." These words should calm worry-warts who think Steel Pier will crumble after being shut out in the 1996-97 Tony Awards. "The `idea' of being shut out seems, on the outside, so devastating. Industry folks imagine we must be lying shattered on the ground today, but it's not true. People are loving the show. We're building our box office. And we had a meeting this morning and drew historic examples of shows that did badly at the Tonys. We came up with Smokey Joe's Cafe, Beauty And The Beast -- both still running."
Hartman wouldn't disclose the show's advance numbers but did say, "There was a rumor that the closing notice was up yesterday for Steel Pier -- totally ridiculous!" For the weeks ending May 18 and 25, Pier notched more-than-respectable gross earnings of $449,538 and $422,106, respectively.
Steel Pier is now tied for the Broadway show that got the most Tony nominations -- 11 -- without winning any. It's tied with another Kander & Ebb show -- ironically, the original production of Chicago, which got wiped out by A Chorus Line.