‘Opera’ needs new home, producer before opening

Show cancels Lyceum bow

NEW YORK — “Stand-Up Opera” has been laid low until next spring. B.J. Ward’s one-woman show, which was to have opened on Broadway at the Shubert-owned Lyceum theater Oct. 18, is now looking for a new home and co-producer.

In “Stand-Up Opera,” Ward, who’s best known for her appearances on “Dallas,” “General Hospital” and “Beverly Hills, 90210,” satirizes famous opera singers and plot lines. Ward is a former symphony orchestra singer.

“It’s currently in limbo,” said producer Eugene Wolsk. “We’re making improvements on it and looking at a March opening.”

Two weeks ago Wolsk and his partner, Lee Moskof, saw their negotiations to bring in “De La Guarda: Villa Villa” producer Daryl Roth as a co-producer fall apart.

‘Philosophical differences’

Roth declined to comment on the pullout, saying only that there were “philosophical differences about the business plan,” and that she wished Wolsk and Moskof well on their venture.

An insider familiar with the production said the failure to reach a deal with Roth poses a serious predicament for the production, as half of its $600,000 in funding was to have come from her. The source said Roth felt the project was better suited to a smaller venue than the 924-seat Lyceum, and in any event felt that it needed a larger cash reserve to weather several lean weeks before the Christmas rush.

“Stand-Up Opera” had originally been skedded to begin previews on Oct. 3 and to bow on Oct. 18 for a three-month run ending Jan. 3.

Wolsk said producers are being courted for the production, but declined to comment on who was being sought. Asked if the show would bow on or off Broadway in March, Wolsk said, “Anything is possible at this point,” but “it won’t necessarily be in the Lyceum.”

Indeed, Tony Randall’s National Actors Theater has been planning a revival of Emlyn Williams’ 1935 play “Night Must Fall” for February previews and a March bow at the Lyceum. Matthew Broderick is said to be interested, though no contract has been signed. Casting for the female lead will continue in the coming weeks, according to “Night’s” general manager, Manny Kladitis.

For now, it’s not clear who’ll have the Lyceum next spring: Shubert Organization prexy Phil Smith said, “Anything is possible, but it’s a strong possibility that it will be Tony Randall” and his National Actors Theater.

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