Lippa musical closes April 2; Collette, Kitt to topline Public prod'n

Catfight fans will be disappointed: There won’t be two “Wild Party” musicals clawing it out on Broadway this season.

Andrew Lippa’s “The Wild Party” opened at the Manhattan Theater Club on Feb. 22 to mostly downbeat reviews, including an especially negative one from Ben Brantley in the New York Times.

Positive notices of the musical, which stars Taye Diggs and Julia Murney, came from the New York Daily News, the Sunday New York Post and Newsweek.

Producers Jeffrey Sellers and Kevin McCollum (“Rent”) held the rights to transfer the production but opted against a move to Broadway. In a joint statement, they announced, “We’re thrilled with the production, but it doesn’t make sense to transfer to Broadway in the current environment.”

Yes, Virginia, a ‘Party’

The Public Theater’s production of Michael John LaChiusa and George C. Wolfe’s “The Wild Party,” also based on the legendary Prohibition-era poem by Joseph Moncure March, opens April 13 at the Virginia Theater, a Broadway venue. Toni Collette, Mandy Patinkin and Eartha Kitt headline the show.

Sources close to both productions said that the dueling shows with the same name and source material had already caused some confusion among theatergoers who wanted to know why Kitt wasn’t performing in the Lippa tuner.

Lippa’s “The Wild Party” closes at the Manhattan Theater Club on April 2, as scheduled.

Earlier this season, the not-for-profit company enjoyed a commercial transfer to Off Broadway with its production of David Lindsay-Abaire’s “Fuddy Meers.” Charles Busch’s new comedy, “The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife,” starring Linda Lavin, opened Tuesday at MTC and has already generated interest from commercial producers.

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