Webber's Whistle Reschedules B'way Opening

News   Webber's Whistle Reschedules B'way Opening
 
The new Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Whistle Down the Wind, currently playing in Washington DC, has postponed its Broadway opening to June 15, 1997, technically moving it out of the current season and into the 1997-98 season.

The new Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Whistle Down the Wind, currently playing in Washington DC, has postponed its Broadway opening to June 15, 1997, technically moving it out of the current season and into the 1997-98 season.

Tickets for the Broadway run go on sale Feb. 16 via Tele-charge. Previews begin June 3 at the Martin Beck Theatre and the show will open 5:45 PM June 15. The show originally had been announced to open April 17.

A spokesperson for Whistle Down the Wind said the change was made "to allow the musical's creative team [Webber and his collaborators Jim Steinman and Patricia Knop] more time to add more material to the show."

The delay also solves a scheduling conflict for director Hal Prince, who has agreed to direct a Broadway revival of Candide, opening April 29.

Lastly, the delay gives the company time to record its original cast album prior to the Broadway opening. In a statement released to the press, Edgar Dobie, president of producer Really Useful Company, said "As always planned, Whistle Down the Wind will go back into rehearsals after the DC run. The revised schedule will give the authors and the director enough time to complete the changes to the book and score and to rehearse and fully stage the new material."

Whistle Down the Wind got positive reviews in its December 1996 world premiere at the National Theatre in Washington, where it is scheduled to play through Feb. 9, and where it broke a house box office record in the week ending Dec. 29, 1996. Nevertheless, most of the reviews said the show needed work before opening on Broadway, and the creative team is now taking time to do that work.

The delay will be good news to Jekyll & Hyde; Steel Pier; Titanic: The Musical; Dream; Juan Darien and Play On!, which are the remaining announced musicals for the 1997 Tony for Best Musical. The deadline for eligibility is the first week in May. The Tony Awards will be given the first week in June.

However, the postponement suddenly makes the 1998 Tonys more interesting, as Whistle will likely be up against Ragtime and The Lion King, among others.

-- By Robert Viagas

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