Contrary to recent reports, By Jeeves will not settling into the Helen Hayes Theatre before Tony time, according to the N.Y. Times (March 19).
Executive director of the Goodspeed, Michael Price, told the Times that the theatre, the actors and the budget were all in line, but director-book writer Alan Ayckbourn had schedule conflicts.
Recent speculations have had several shows (Wit, Night Must Fall, and Betty's Summer Vacation) scrambling to capture the Hayes, Broadway's smallest theatre, when the critically dismissed Band in Berlin announced this week it would close March 21.
The most likely option right now is Betty. A production spokesperson at the James LL Morrison office told PBOL (March 19) that several producers have been attending the show, with serious interest in moving the Christopher Durang comedy to Broadway.
Though it's not common practice to transfer a comedy with jokes about rape, incest and dismemberment to Broadway, universally strong reviews have led to two extensions of the Playwrights Horizon production, now playing through April 11. A Broadway move would be especially sweet, however, for Durang, whose equally dark-humored Sex and Longing proved a major Broadway flop for Lincoln Center two seasons ago. Earlier this week, producers of the Off-Broadway hit, Wit announced that the production was no longer considering a Broadway move, although they filed (and were turned down) for special consideration for a Tony nod. Ironically, Wit's producers were eyeing the Helen Hayes Theatre months ago, but the theatre's owners felt a show about cancer was too commercially risky. Instead, they opted for the musical, Band in Berlin.
Though never a strong contender, Night Must Fall will also not be making a transfer. The production's star, Matthew Broderick, has long been planned to head the cast of Horton Foote's new play at Hartford Stage in May.