Musical Diner Will Open on Broadway April 10, 2013, Following Fall Workshop; Expect an Intimate Show
By Kenneth Jones
The Broadway trajectory of the new musical Diner was clarified by lead producer BASE Entertainment (co-CEOs Scott Zeiger and Brian Becker) on Aug. 3. As reported by Playbill.com on Aug. 2, the Sheryl Crow-Barry Levinson show will not play its previously announced pre-Broadway engagement this fall.
Instead, the creative team will take the time to retool the production for a more intimate Broadway venue.
"Coming to Broadway in one of the most crowded spring seasons in some time, the production was originally envisioned and designed for a large Broadway musical house, but with the healthy crop of Broadway musicals and revivals, both current and hopefuls, there are more shows vying for large musical houses than are available," according to the Aug. 3 statement. "Faced with this challenge the producers and creative team of Diner embarked on an exploratory exercise to determine if the show would play as effectively in a theatre with a capacity no larger than 1,100 seats, for which there is greater opportunity. Holding themselves to uncompromising standards they happily discovered that their answer was 'yes.'
"The retooled production will not be completed in time for a San Francisco bow in October 2012, instead those dates will be utilized for a four-week fully-staged workshop in New York for the creative team to make necessary artistic revisions. The production is investigating alternate San Francisco dates in early 2013."
Diner will open on Broadway April 10, 2013, at a theatre to be announced.
"Once you have locked in your physical production out-of-town there is no flexibility to subsequently play a smaller venue," Zeiger said in a statement. "With no guarantee of a large musical house in the spring this was our only fiscally responsible choice. We are also encouraged by recent examples of successful, critically-acclaimed musicals playing theatres with roughly the same capacity that we will play. We are exceptionally pleased to bring Diner to Broadway in the spring and will announce our home very shortly."
Director-choreographer Kathleen Marshall added, "I love that we are envisioning Diner for a more intimate theatre. I think Barry's wonderfully vivid characters and Sheryl's fabulously rockin' score will be even more thrilling in a smaller venue where the audience can experience the show viscerally."
Diner, based on Levinson's film, is set in Baltimore, 1959, when six high school friends reunite at the one place they know they'll always belong: the Diner. "Now in their twenties, the friends have stumbled into adulthood and struggle to keep from growing apart," according to production notes. "Life, love, responsibility — it's all on the table."
Based on the critically acclaimed 1982 film, Diner has a book by Academy Award winner and original screenwriter Barry Levinson, music and lyrics by nine-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow.
The creative team includes scenic designer Derek McLane, lighting designer Peter Kaczorowski and sound designer Scott Lehrer with orchestrations and music direction by Mitchell Froom.
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