The Goodspeed Opera House production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical By Jeeves, which opened March 4 at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, has added two weeks to its L.A. run, and has announced that it will open at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. this June.
The L.A. production will run through April 6, and then move on to Washington D.C.'s Kennedy Center's 489-seat Terrace Theatre, June 4 through Aug. 31.
Originally titled Jeeves, the show opened in London in 1975 with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and book and lyrics by Alan Ayckbourn. Webber and Ayckbourn opened a revised version of the musical in the West End in summer 1996. The American premiere opened in November 1996 for an extended run at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, CT.
A December column in Variety by Michael Flemming attributed the Los Angeles premiere to a concern about opening the show on Broadway in the same season as Webber's Hal Prince-directed Whistle Down the Wind. However, that show has since postponed its Broadway opening indefinitely. Whistle did, however, break boxoffice records at the National Theatre in Washington DC, not far from where By Jeeves will play.
Fleming also reported that after L.A., By Jeeves would run at D.C.'s Kennedy Center, and then open on Broadway, potentially at the Circle in the Square, though a spokesperson for that theatre said March 3, "there is nothing happening with it." The L.A. production retains most of the original Goodspeed cast, although Richard Kline, the original Jeeves, left the Goodspeed production and now appears in the off Broadway production of Boychik.
Productions of By Jeeves will be licensed by each venue from Webber's production company The Really Useful Group (RUG), and are overseen, though not produced, by RUG.
By Jeeves completes the Geffen's inaugural season with two musicals, ending in Robert Brustein's adaptation of Isaac Bashevis Singer's Schlemiel the First, running May 6-June 8. Geffen Spokesperson Gary Murphy originally said that Jeeves would run only five weeks due to Shlemiel's opening, but the new extension is not expected interfere with the Geffen schedule.
For tickets or information about the Geffen Theatre, please refer to the regional listing on Playbill On-Line.