Off B’way shows wait to reopen

Shows wait for call from mayor's office

As of late Thursday afternoon, several Off Broadway producers continued to wait for word from the mayor’s office regarding when their shows would be able to resume performances.

While all 23 Broadway shows went back on the boards Thursday night, at least 10 Off Broadway productions housed in theaters below 14th Street in Manhattan could not follow suit due to Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s moratorium on businesses reopening in the downtown area. Police have required pedestrians who want to enter Greenwich Village to show ID proving they live or work in the area.

Leaving streets open

“We’re taking our cue from the mayor’s office and leaving the streets open for emergency workers,” said Ben Sprecher, manager of the Lucille Lortel Theater and the Variety Arts, both located in the Village. Sprecher was expecting a decision to be made at midnight Thursday.

Robyn Goodman, producer of “Tick, Tick … Boom!,” also referred to a possible midnight decision to reopen Village theaters. However, she wondered if it would extend to the Jane Street Theater, where her production has been ensconced since the spring. “I just don’t know if the path reopened will include (the West Side Highway), because they’re using the highway to transport (debris).”

Other shows suspending their performance skeds include “Blue Man Group,” “Exit the King,” “First Love,” “Love, Janis,” “Much Ado About Nothing,” “Naked Boys Singing,” “Six Goumbas and a Wannabe,” “Stomp” and “Love,” which had planned to open Thursday at the East 13th Street Theater.

It has been expected, but not confirmed, that Manhattan from 14th Street to Canal Street will be reopened today.

In a surprisingly defiant move, the long-running “Fantasticks” at the Sullivan Street Theater resumed performances Thursday night. David Salidor, the show’s publicist, explained, “According to (producer) Lore Note, ‘The Fantasticks’ is part of the city getting back to normal. We’re not anticipating problems.” Salidor said the show had been dark earlier in the week.

Incoming shows delayed

Sprecher said the incoming production of “Reefer Madness” at the Variety Arts would push back its first preview from Saturday to Tuesday. The production missed two days of anticipated load-in of scenery at the Off Broadway theater. Opening night remains Oct. 7.

The Drama Dept.’s production of “Rude Entertainment,” by Paul Rudnick, has postponed its Sept. 20 opening at the Greenwich House until further notice. A spokesman for the show said at least one cast member still is stranded outside the city.

Uptown, the Lost Musicals concert series will proceed with its Sunday opening-night performance of Cole Porter’s 1941 musical “Let’s Face It” at the Historical Society.

On Broadway, the producers of “Urinetown” resumed previews Thursday, which was to have been the musical’s opening night. They have announced a rescheduled opening night of Sept. 20.

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