Monday, May 07, 2007

Life Support

I'm very tired tonight, so this probably will not be very exciting or make that much sense.

Let's talk about Rent. (Whenever I say "let's talk about" I think of the Salt 'n Pepa song from my youth...)

When news began to spread a few weeks ago that In The Heights was going to move to Broadway, I heard right away that the rumor about it going to the St. James was false. I hoped the whole thing was false. I remember reading in Variety how the producers said they were staying put, a wise move, if you ask me. And the St. James? Come on! So I discounted the whole thing, as I did when I received the release that Once Around the Sun was moving to Broadway. Same with Zanna, Don't! (Though I also discounted the Jay Johnson show and that did move, so clearly I'm not always right...)

Then I heard from a very good source that the producers of In The Heights, two of which are of course behind Rent, wanted it to go to the Nederlander. I believe it's unwise to close Rent, which because of its low running costs tends to make money, to move in In The Heights, so I still didn't 100% believe it. Then, when it got out that Adam and Anthony were coming back, it all made sense. Adam after all came back to close Aida too. These original cast members would be part of the final cast. It would in fact close, with them giving their all the final performances, just as they had the first. But then.... Tamyra Gray. It was announced that she'd be in until November 25. Now this does not mean they are obligated to keep the show open that long--but it looks unlikely based on that announcement that they are currently planning to close Rent in early September. This means, I believe, as of now, that the earliest they are planning on closing is the end of the year. If that is the plan, they'd probably ask everyone to extend through then and hope they do. BUT--that leads to another issue... Can In The Heights survive through then at 37 Arts?

In The Heights is not selling well, according to my sources. And, even if they are not paying rent, their cast is big. I can't imagine it comes in much under $140,000 a week. Can it last at the rate it is going? Is it worth it to hemorrhage cash off-Broadway for another 9 months? I think not. I want to point out that when things don't sell off-Broadway, they don't tend to sell on Broadway, though people continue to think they will. I understand that a show gets more attention on Broadway and is in a more tourist-friendly theater if on Broadway, but, still, that doesn't tend to make fortunes turn automatically. Nevertheless, I understand people like to believe in miracles, like (SPOILER) the lottery win that plays a part in the show's story. But, even if they are banking on a Broadway lottery prize, they need to get the show there sooner, rather than later. There will be no prize at 37 Arts unless J. Lo replaces Mandy Gonzalez.

I think I'm sort of off-topic at this point and I'm yawning. Night all.

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