Broadway waits for ‘Women’

Gotham debut pushed back to 2001-2002 season

The musical “Little Women” joins “The Visit” and “Oklahoma!” as Broadway no-shows this legit season.

Producer Randall L. Wreghitt confirmed that the tuner based on the Louisa May Alcott classic would be going to Boston’s Colonial Theater in spring 2001, as planned. A Broadway debut, however, has been pushed back to the 2001-2002 season.

“We’re still coming into New York,” said Wreghitt, who is producing the show with Dani Davis. “No one wants it to come in sooner than me, but regarding the circumstances, this just puts it back a year.”

Those “circumstances” developed when the musical’s original composer and lyricist, Kim Oler and Allison Hubbard, were replaced by Jason Howland and Mindi Dickstein last spring.

Since then, the new score has been unveiled in various 40-minute presentations. Wreghitt said the full score and book will be presented for the first time at backers’ auditions on Oct. 19, 20 and 21 in Gotham. Allan Knee is the book writer.

Half-joking, Wreghitt held out some small hope for a Broadway premiere of “Little Women” this spring: “If someone comes to one of the backers’ auditions in October and puts up the entire amount and the right theater is available. … But I would rather hold it at this point and come into the theater we want.”

The postponements of Kander and Ebb’s “The Visit” and the National Theatre’s production of “Oklahoma!” have left the Broadway Theater and the Ford Center vacant for the new season. Wreghitt quickly scratched the possibility of going into either of those huge venues with their 1,700-plus seats.

” ‘Little Women’ is a 10-person chamber piece,” he explained.

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