"What a Country!" Star Yakov Smirnoff's Solo Laugh Closes on Broadway, May 26

News   "What a Country!" Star Yakov Smirnoff's Solo Laugh Closes on Broadway, May 26 The Roundabout Theatre Company staging of Yakov Smirnoff's one-man show As Long as We Both Shall Laugh closes May 26 at the American Airlines Theatre.

The production, which began performances Feb. 23 and opened April 7, extended from its original closing date of April 14.

Smirnoff, the man who made the phrase "What a Country!" part of the vernacular in the late '80s with the television show of the same name, starred in As Long as We Both Shall Laugh. Now that the cold war is over, his Russia vs. America material has been dropped to focus on the differences between men and women.

David Hirschi is the creative producer and Jeffrey Sweet, Jimmy Brogan and Buzz Nutley serve as creative consultants to the production. The design team includes Eric Renschler (scenic consultant), Mike Baldassari (lighting), Robin L. McGee (costume) and Fitz Patton (sound). Choreography is handled by Jennifer Werner.

The work was deemed ineligible for a Tony Award as “the show [did] not perform a reasonably conventional playing schedule.” (The show ran on a Sunday and Monday night schedule — the off-nights for the Roundabout Theatre Company's current A Day in the Death of Joe Egg.) No future plans for the show are currently scheduled.

Smirnoff (born Yakov Naumovich Pokhis) became an American citizen on July 4, 1986 at the Statue of Liberty. Coming to America in 1977 — with only his parents and under $100 to his name — the comedian went on to perform on "The Tonight Show," in the aforementioned sitcom and in such films as "Moscow on the Hudson," "Brewster's Millions" and "The Money Pit." For further information, visit www.yakov.com or www.roundabouttheatre.org.