Zanna, Don't! Closes Off-Bway June 29, But Future Life Expected; Cast Album Out in August

News   Zanna, Don't! Closes Off-Bway June 29, But Future Life Expected; Cast Album Out in August Zanna, Don't!, the critically-embraced, audience-favorite musical that emerged in the past nine months, ends its Off-Broadway run June 29 at the John Houseman Theatre after 17 previews and 119 performances.

Producer Jack M. Dalgleish is closing the show because of money: The show was well-received and the audience cheered each performance, but the Off-Broadway berth wasn't paying off.

Many Off-Broadway shows find that the reduced seating capacity and lack of exposure (compared to Broadway) don't make for good business in a commercial situation. He said the show also opened during a war and in a time when Broadway, let alone Off-Broadway, was struggling.

Dalgleish said there is interest from producers for a Broadway run of the show.

"I will be pursuing that idea vigorously," he said. "The economics of producing on Broadway seem to make more sense."

He is also exploring a mini-tour for the show, and entertaining offers for licensed regional runs. Publishers are vying for the script. Lyricist-librettist-composer Tim Acito was a new voice in the musical theatre landscape with his quirky, brightly colored show about romances in a high school where gay is straight and where straight kids are shunned. Indeed, the universe in the show is a gay one. The title character is a magical matchmaker with a wand that directs him to those who ought to be in love.

If a Broadway future doesn't emerge, it seems a sure thing that the small cast size and pop flavors would allow Zanna, Don't! to have a life in regional theatre in coming seasons.

Dalgleish told Playbill On-Line there is interest in regional stagings from producers in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Toronto, Chicago, South Florida, Milan, Australia and Japan.

"It's sad that it's not going to sustain itself Off-Broadway, but this show has a big future," Dalgleish told Playbill On Line, adding that it will be published and available for licensing.

The Off-Broadway capitalization was $750,000. The price tag from Broadway might be as high as $7 million, he said. However, with Broadway comes the exposure and brand name of Broadway itself.

PS Classics recorded the cast album June 9. A late August release is expected, sold first on the web and then in stores. Requests for the disc have stuffed a box in the Houseman theatre lobby throughout the run.

"I am so grateful that Zanna was embraced so passionately, and extremely touched that its message of tolerance and acceptance was met with open arms," Dalgleish said.

Performances play the John Houseman, 450 W. 42nd Street. For tickets, call (212) 239-6200 or visit www.zannadont.com.

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The previously-announced performance count was to be 118 by the close, but one performance was added June 27 as a benefit for The Actors Fund of America, bumping the total to 119.

Devanand Janki directed and choreographed. Alexander Dinelaris penned additional book and lyrics. The cast included Jai Rodriguez (as Zanna), Anika Larsen, Darius Nichols, Amanda Ryan Paige, Enrico Rodriguez, Rob Sapp, Shelley Thomas, Gregory Treco, Jasmin Walker, Dana Steer and Jared Zeus.