London to get ‘Life’ in fall

Show spreads out of cramped Gotham quarters

NEW YORK — After just over a year in Gotham, “The Life” is aiming to spread to London this October, according to a source familiar with the show’s plans. A second “Life” company will be formed in London, where negotiations are set to start next week for a venue. Several producers in London are said to be interested in the Times Square-themed tuner, which gave new meaning to the words “feel-good musical.”

“The Life” is looking down a difficult road in the States, a production source explained. Despite winning the Tony Award for musical, it’s been trapped in the medium-sized, 1,096-seat Ethel Barrymore Theater, with little chance to capitalize on the week-end crush.

Furthermore, touring prospects look dim, as America’s more traditional, puritanical folks aren’t likely to embrace a musical featuring pimps and prostitutes.

“Its audience here in New York is tapped out. It’s too late to switch theaters,” one source said. “They have to go abroad, probably with different investors.”

Producers from the show declined to comment on their plans for international productions, or when it might recoup its initial capitalization. One producer did reaffirm that “The Life” would not be closing anytime soon, even though the tuner has been realizing less than half of its gross potential of $527,321.

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