[closing night]: New Musical [title of show] Ends Broadway Run Oct. 12

News   [closing night]: New Musical [title of show] Ends Broadway Run Oct. 12
[title of show] — the new musical that would rather be nine people's favorite thing than 100 people's ninth favorite thing — plays its final performance at the Lyceum Theatre Oct. 12 at 7:30 PM.
Heidi Blickenstaff, Jeff Bowen, Susan Blackwell and Hunter Bell (seated) in [title of show]
Heidi Blickenstaff, Jeff Bowen, Susan Blackwell and Hunter Bell (seated) in [title of show] Photo by Carol Rosegg

When it closes, the musical will have played 13 previews and 102 performances.

Previews began at the Lyceum July 5 with an official opening July 17.

Originally produced at the Vineyard Theatre in 2006, the entire original cast — including co-creators Jeff Bowen (score) and Hunter Bell (book) as well as co-stars Susan Blackwell and Heidi Blickenstaff — made the leap to the Broadway stage. A Chorus Line's Michael Berresse, who helmed the acclaimed Off-Broadway run, also directed the Broadway version, which features musical director-arranger Larry Pressgrove onstage playing the electric keyboard. (Standbys are Courtney Balan and Benjamin Howes.)

Co-creator/co-star Bell told Playbill.com Oct. 10, "Lots of folks have asked 'How you guys doing?' or 'How do you feel?' and the answer is, a lot of different emotions. When our 'pep rally' date was first announced (we prefer to call it a pep rally...closing night sounds too final), we were super sad for like 48 hours. We cried, got angry, sad (sangry)...all of it. However, pretty quickly on came this wave of creative energy and excitement about all the possibilities for the future of [tos]. Truth is, Jeff and I succeeded the day we wrote down the first words of this show. Anytime anyone breaks through and starts to create something they love, they have succeeded. [title of show] is about not being afraid to dream out loud. Our dream was to tell this story on a Broadway stage, and with courageous producers and investors and blood sweat and tears from all the folks in our [tos] family, that dream is happening. While this [tos] chapter at the Lyceum is done on the 12th, I know that this journey is far from over. One of our awesome [tos]ser fans sent us this Louis L'Amour quote that says: 'There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.' I love that. So we're hitting pause this Sunday and then next up...maybe [tos] in some other cities and then back to New York (we want to have to get tuxes and dresses for the Broadway prom...also known as the Tony Awards!), plus a [tos] TV show, and we're still keen on a [tos] blimp and theme park, too!"

The Broadway staging was produced by the Vineyard as well as Kevin McCollum, Jeffrey Seller, Laura Camien, Roy Miller, Kris Stewart. [title of show], according to press notes, "takes a thoroughly unique and comical look at the pleasures and perils of the artistic process as two struggling writers [Bell and Bowen] and two struggling actresses [Blackwell and Bickenstaff] take on the seemingly impossible task of creating a new musical about creating a new musical. Now with Broadway as their destination, the quartet's saga continues anew as they face mounting pressures and deadlines, and are nearly thrown off-track by disagreements, day jobs and insecurities in this funny and unforgettable look at the birth of a musical as it finally comes to life on the Great White Way."

The creative team also included Neil Patel (set design), Chase Tyler (costume design), Ken Billington and Jason Kantrowitz (lighting design) and ACME Sound Partners (sound design).

[title of show] debuted in 2004 at the New York Musical Theatre Festival. Bowen, Bell and Berresse each won a 2006 Obie Award for work on the subsequent 2006 Off-Broadway production at the Vineyard Theatre.

An original cast recording was released on Ghostlight Records, and the creators kept the show alive through the internet series, "The [title of show] Show," which is available for viewing by visiting www.titleofshow.com/toscasts.htm. The webcast is all about the troupers' seemingly improbable notion of getting [title of show] to Broadway.

Song titles include "Untitled Opening Number," "Two Nobodies in New York," "An Original Musical," "Monkeys and Playbills," "Part of It All," "I Am Playing Me," "What Kind of Girl Is She?," "Die Vampire, Die!," "Filling Out the Form," "September Song," "Secondary Characters," "Development Medley," "Change It, Don't Change It"/"Awkward Photo Shoot," "A Way Back to Then," "Nine People's Favorite Thing" and "Finale."

It was recently announced that The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization has acquired the stock and amateur rights to [title of show]. The Organization will also represent Bowen's score through Williamson Music, which is currently developing a song book that will reflect the latest incarnation of the musical. Stock and amateur rights to [title of show] are not currently available, although when rights do become available, the news will be announced on the R&H website, www.rnh.com.

The Lyceum Theatre is located in Manhattan at 149 West 45th Street.

For more information visit www.titleofshow.com.

Heidi Blickenstaff, Hunter Bell, Jeff Bowen and Susan Blackwell take flight in <i>[titile of show]</i>.
Heidi Blickenstaff, Hunter Bell, Jeff Bowen and Susan Blackwell take flight in [titile of show]. Photo by Carol Rosegg
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