‘Bang,’ ‘Keys,’ ‘Week’ pack it in Off-B’Way

Musical, dramas shutter April 16

The current Off Broadway theater crunch will become uncrunched on Sunday.

“The Big Bang” at the Douglas Fairbanks Theater and “Noel Coward’s Suite in 2 Keys” at the Lucille Lortel Theater have joined Beth Henley’s “Family Week” at the Century Center with closing notices posted for April 16. On Tuesday, producers of the Henley play announced its final performance, also April 16 (Daily Variety, April 12). Mirage Theater Co., Stage Writer Entertainment, Jonathan Reinis Prods. and Robert O’Leary produced the two Coward one-acts, “Shadows of the Evening” and “A Song at Twilight,” which have been given the umbrella title “Noel Coward’s Suite in 2 Keys.”

Both plays feature the trio of a husband, mistress and wife, which are performed by, respectively, Paxton Whitehead, Judith Ivey and Hayley Mills, making her New York stage debut. In “Shadows,” the man learns he has less than nine months to live; in “Song,” he is threatened with blackmail for being homosexual. John Tillinger directed.

First staged in London in 1966 with the companion piece “Come Into the Garden, Maud,” the original production was known as “Noel Coward’s Suite in 3 Keys.” It was given an American debut in 1974 with the heading “Noel Coward in 2 Keys,” and starred Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy and Anne Baxter. Those actors performed “Shadows of the Evening” and “Come Into the Garden, Maud,” but not “A Song at Twilight.”

The musical spoof “The Big Bang,” a takeoff on backers’ auditions, opened March 1 and is produced by Eric Krebs and Nancy Nagel Gibbs. Composer Jed Feuer and lyricist/book writer Boyd Graham also perform in the show, taking the roles of two men in search of investors for a big-budget Broadway musical based on the history of the world.

The duo also wrote the 1992 Off Broadway musical “Eating Raoul.”

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