Primo Is Prime at the Box Office Following Positive Reception

News   Primo Is Prime at the Box Office Following Positive Reception
The National Theatre of Great Britain's production on Primo, based on Primo Levi's memoir, "If This Is a Man," and starring Antony Sher, experienced a surge at the Broadway box office following the critical raves it received upon opening July 11.

A show spokesman did not specify a dollar amount, but said sales were "through the roof" and the show was doing "incredibly well."

Because of the harrowing nature of the material, Sher has made it clear he won't perform Primo more than the scheduled 32 performances, so an extension is very unlikely.

Richard Wilson directs the play, which features an adaptation by Sher. The show — produced by Bill Kenwright and Thelma Holt — will play a limited engagement at the Music Box through Aug. 7.

Primo features Antony Sher as Italian chemist and Holocaust survivor Primo Levi. Levi's 1947 memoir chronicles the time he spent in a concentration camp during the final year of World War II. Primo was a hit last fall at the National's Cottesloe Theatre, subsequently playing Cape Town, South Africa, before returning to London at the Hampstead Theatre.

The piece plays 90 intermissionless minutes and features Sher in plain clothes as a postwar Levi directly telling the audience of his horrific life in the Nazi death camp. Sher is the first person given permission by the Levi estate to adapt the late author's work for the stage. The creative team for Primo comprises Hildegard Bechtler (set and costume design), Paul Pyant (lighting design), Rich Walsh (sound design) and Jonathan Goldstein (music).

Antony Sher received Olivier Awards for his performances in the London productions of Torch Song Trilogy and Stanley and an Evening Standard Award for his work in Richard III. His numerous theatrical credits also include roles in John Paul George Ringo and Bert, The Glad Hand, Prayer for My Daughter, Cloud Nine, Goosepimples, King Lear, Moliere, Tartuffe, Maydays, Red Noses, The Merchant of Venice, The Revenger's Tragedy, Hello and Goodbye, Singer, Tamburlaine the Great, Travesties, True West, The Trial, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Uncle Vanya and Titus Andronicus.

Sher made his Broadway debut in 1997 in Stanley, earning a Tony Award nomination for his performance.

Primo will play Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8 PM with matinees Saturdays at 2 PM and Sundays at 3 PM. Tickets are available by calling (212) 239-6200 or by visiting the Music Box Theatre box office at 239 West 45th Street.

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