12 Aug 1998
Those saddened by the news can take heart that Pigs got a new lease on life last summer; the show had advertised "Final Weeks" months ago -- and then prolonged its run due to renewed life at the box office. By its final date, Pigs will have oinked 855 times (15 previews, 840 regular performances).
Crabtree, creator of the critically acclaimed revue Whoop-Dee-Doo!, passed away five days after having completed work on When Pigs Fly, which holds true to his penchant for outlandish and elaborate costumes.
Currently in the show are Stanley Bojarski, David Pevsner, Michael West (all original cast-members), John Wasiniak and James Heatherly.
Dedicated to the memory of Crabtree, When Pigs Fly tells the tale of Howard (a character not unlike Mr. Crabtree), who is in charge of putting together an over-the-top revue but finds himself going over hurdles and combating negative attitudes. The situation is further worsened when his high school guidance counselor keeps popping up to warn him of the pitfalls of the career he's chosen. When asked if she thinks Howard will make good on his theatrical career, she retorts "When Pigs Fly!" The show must go on and it does. And in the end, Howard follows his heart.
Crabtree's long-time collaborator and confidant, Mark Waldrop, has said, "Howard Crabtree's When Pigs Fly really is the show that Howard always wanted to do. Against all odds he finished the costumes for it just before he died -- and they were his his best, funniest, most sophisticated creations ever."
Sets and lighting are by Peter Hauser; sound by Rob Gorton.
Pigs won 1997 Outer Critics Circle Awards for Off-Broadway Musical and costume design; Drama Desk Awards for Off-Broadway revue and costume design, a Lucille Lortel Award for costume design, and an all- around OBIE.