Balking backer nearly scuttles B’way ‘Child’

Last-minute transfusion from angel clears way for previews

NEW YORK — The title may imply gilded profitability, but a nervous key investor almost scuppered the planned April 2 Broadway opening of David Henry Hwang’s “Golden Child.”

Just a few days before previews, says a source close to the production, 45% of the show’s $850,000 capitalization went south. With no one willing to work without a guarantee of a paycheck, work on the show halted Wednesday, and the load-in to the Longacre Theatre scheduled for Thursday was postponed.

Lead producer Benjamin Mordecai told Daily Variety on Thursday that he successfully replaced the missing money late Wednesday night and that the first preview would go ahead as planned Monday.

“I hope never to have another week like this one,” Mordecai said, declining to name the investor who backed out. “It was a very precarious situation. The people who were investing in this show last week are not the same as the people who are investing in it this week.”

Prior productions of “Golden Child” were financed under the auspices of nonprofit organizations that served as their producers.

“Our major support for the Broadway production was not from traditional theater investors,” Mordecai said. “They decided against the commitment at the 11th hour.”

Sources close to the show said that the financing has been looking tenuous for many weeks and that no one would have been surprised if the opening had never taken place.

“The first preview has already sold 800 tickets,” Mordecai said. But sources tell Daily Variety that those are not single-ticket buyers anxious to snag a look at the new work by the author of “M. Butterfly” — rather, the house has been bought out by AT&T.

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