Zanna, Musical About Keeping It Real in a Gay World and Keeping It Gay in the Real World, to Close

News   Zanna, Musical About Keeping It Real in a Gay World and Keeping It Gay in the Real World, to Close Zanna, Don't!, the critically-embraced audience- favorite musical that emerged in the past nine months, will end its Off-Broadway run June 29 at the John Houseman Theatre after 17 previews and 118 performances.

Producer Jack M. Dalgleish is closing the show because of money: The show was well-received, 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 a depressing in a time when Broadway, let alone Off-Broadway, is struggling.

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

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

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 likely 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 summer release is expected.

"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.