I'm Not Rappaport to Close on Broadway, Sept. 8; Our Town Next?

By Robert Simonson
and Kenneth Jones
04 Sep 2002

Judd Hirsch and Ben Vereen in I'm Not Rappaport.
Judd Hirsch and Ben Vereen in I'm Not Rappaport.
Photo by Photo by Carol Rosegg

I'm Not Rappaport, the Herb Gardner revival starring Judd Hirsch and Ben Vereen that has struggled to expand its audience in the days leading up to the historically lean weeks of September, has finally given up the ghost, after nearly a month of week-to-week extensions. It will close on Sept. 8.

I'm Not Rappaport, the Herb Gardner revival starring Judd Hirsch and Ben Vereen that has struggled to expand its audience in the days leading up to the historically lean weeks of September, has finally given up the ghost, after nearly a month of week-to-week extensions. It will close on Sept. 8.

It will have played a total of 53 performances and 15 previews.

Sources have Our Town, starring Paul Newman, as the next play going into the Booth.



The Broadway play—about two old men and their confrontations with each other and the outsiders in their lives, set in Central Park—has been running under a "provisional closing notice" for the past few weeks, which informs the cast the show could close at any moment.

Judd Hirsch returns to his Tony Award-winning role as liberal and cranky Nat and Ben Vereen plays his foil, Midge. The play won the 1986 Tony Award for Best Play. An item in the New York Times reported Hirsch has put some of his own money into the show.

Rappaport ticket sales had slowly increased in recent weeks, and the show had gotten an infusion of cash and "support" from the marketing community. The week of Aug. 19-25 Rappaport played to an average capacity of 48.4 percent at the Booth Theatre, taking a gross of $112,970 (of a $400,000 potential gross).

Re-creating their 1985-86 work are designers Tony Walton (set) and Tony winner for Rappaport Pat Collins (lighting).

Director Sullivan won the Best Director Tony Award in 2001 for Broadway's Proof.. The Rappaport cast includes Anthony Arkin (Danforth), Mimi Lieber (Clara), Steven Boyer (Gilley), Jeb Brown (Cowboy) and Tanya Clarke (Laurie), with David S. Howard, Adam Wade, Nurit Loppel, Michael Pemberton and Robert McClure standing by.

Sound designers are Duncan Robert Edwards and David F. Shapiro. Theresa Snider-Stein is costume designer.

Cleavon Little was Hirsch's original co-star; Little died in 1992. Water Matthau and Ossie Davis starred in the 1996 film version, directed by Gardner.

The Booth Theatre is at 222 W. 45th Street. For ticket information, call (212) 239-6200.