Broadway's Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown Will Close Early

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
28 Dec 2010

Patti LuPone and Sherie Rene Scott
Patti LuPone and Sherie Rene Scott
Photo by Paul Kolnik

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, the world-premiere Lincoln Center Theater musical based on Pedro Almodóvar's Oscar-nominated 1988 film, will end its Broadway run prematurely. The cast was informed prior to the Dec. 28 performance.

Despite its starry Broadway cast and Oscar-nominated source material, Women on the Verge will close Jan. 2, 2011, three weeks prior to its scheduled closing date of Jan. 23, 2011. The production will have played 30 previews and 69 performances at the Belasco Theatre.

Critics were cool on the musical by Tony Award-nominated Dirty Rotten Scoundrels collaborators David Yazbek and Jeffrey Lane. The show boasts Sherie Rene Scott, Patti LuPone, Laura Benanti and Brian Stokes Mitchell among its cast.

Ticket sales were also soft. During Broadway's typically lucrative Christmas week, Women on the Verge grossed only $241,849 (48.4 percent capacity), and the gross for Thanksgiving week was only $399,881 (at 61.6 percent capacity).

The technically ambitious work, helmed by Tony Award-winning director Bartlett Sher (South Pacific, The Light in the Piazza), opened Nov. 4. Early previews were delayed in order to allow the creative team and cast to work on the cinematic transitions and to clarify the story. Almodóvar's original film cuts to scenes across Madrid in the late 1980's as numerous plot lines intermingle.



Among the songs penned for the musical are "Madrid," "Lie to Me," "Lovesick," "Time Stood Still," "Model Behavior," "My Crazy Heart," "The Microphone," "Island," "On the Verge," "Mother's Day," "Invisible" and "Talk to Me."

Tony Award winner Mitchell (Kiss Me, Kate, Ragtime) is the musical's virile catalyst, Ivan, who sets off an emotional rollercoaster that causes the women in his life (and beyond) to toe the line between sanity and mental collapse. His fellow leading men include Tony nominee Danny Burstein (South Pacific) as a flashy taxi driver and Justin Guarini ("American Idol").

The Women on the Verge are played by Tony nominee Scott (Everyday Rapture, The Little Mermaid) as Pepa, the abandoned girlfriend; Tony winner LuPone (Gypsy, Evita) as the scorned ex-wife, Lucia; Tony winner Benanti (Gypsy, In the Next Room) as the high-strung best friend Candela; as well as Tony nominee de'Adre Aziza (Passing Strange), Tony nominee Mary Beth Peil (Nine, Sunday in the Park With George) and Nikka Graff Lanzarone (Seussical).

Nikka Graff Lanzarone, Laura Benanti and Justin Guarini
photo by Paul Kolnik

The Women on the Verge ensemble includes Julio Agustin, Alma Cuervo, John Carroll, Murphy Guyer, Rachel Bay Jones, Nina Lafarga, Yanira Marin, Sean McCort, Vivian Nixon, Luis Salgado, Jennifer Maria Sanchez, John Schiappa, Samantha Shafer, Phillip Spaeth, Matthew Steffens and Charlie Sutton.

Women on the Verge has choreography by Christopher Gattelli, musical direction by Jim Abbott, sets by Michael Yeargan, costumes by Catherine Zuber, lighting by Brian MacDevitt, sound by Scott Lehrer, projections by Sven Ortel, aerial design by The Sky Box, special effects by Gregory Meeh, wigs and hair by Charles LaPointe, make-up by Dick Page, orchestrations by Simon Hale, and additional orchestrations by Jim Abbott & David Yazbek.

Here's how LCT bills Women on the Verge: "Both touching and hilarious, it's a story about women and the men who pursue them... finding them, losing them, needing them, and rejecting them. At the center is Pepa (Scott) whose friends and lovers are blazing a trail through 1980s Madrid. And why do they all keep showing up at her high-rise apartment? Is it her gazpacho? Along with Pepa, there's her missing (possibly philandering) lover, Ivan (Mitchell); his ex-wife of questionable sanity, Lucia (LuPone); Pepa's friend, Candela (Benanti), and her terrorist boyfriend; a power-suited lawyer (Aziza) plus a taxi driver (Burstein) who dispenses tissues, mints and advice in equal proportion. Mayhem and comic madness abound, balanced by the empathy and heart that are trademarks of Almodóvar's work. And of Bartlett Sher's too."

For tickets visit LCT.org, or phone Telecharge at (212) 239-6200. The Belasco Theatre is located at 111 West 44th Street.