Scheduling conflicts ground legiter
Meryl Streep will not be making her grand return to the Broadway stage this fall as anticipated.Carol Fineman, a spokeswoman for the Public Theater, announced that the company’s Central Park production of “The Seagull,” headlining Streep, Kevin Kline, Natalie Portman and Christopher Walken, would not transfer to a Broadway theater. She cited conflicts in the actors’ skeds. Mike Nichols directed the Chekhov classic, which gave its last performance at the park’s Delacorte Theater on Sunday. ‘Annie’ vs. ‘Millie’ Barry and Fran Weissler announced that their Broadway production of “Annie Get Your Gun” will close at the Marquis Theater on Sept. 1 after having played 1,046 performance and 35 previews. It opened March 4, 1999. The new musical “Thoroughly Modern Millie” had been expected to replace the Irving Berlin revival at the Marquis as early as mid-November. Week-to-week box office for “Annie Get Your Gun” fell from $821,599 when Reba McEntire’s run concluded to $486,185 when Crystal Bernard took over in late June. When a closing notice did not immediately materialize, the Weisslers were expected to keep the musical running until Jan. 1. “There’s not joy in Mudville,” said Hal Luftig, producer of “Millie” with Fox Theatricals. Luftig said he needed to know of the theater’s autumn availability no later than July 15 in order to make a November opening. When the July date passed with no indication of an impending close, he pushed the “Millie” opening back to April 18. The cast and creative team could be reassembled for spring but not the fall. “It’s frustrating,” added the producer. Big loser in the tussle appears to be the Nederlander Organization, which owns the Marquis. Unless the legit org can book a last-minute interim production, the 1,604-seater could remain dark for all of fall and most of winter. Ironically, the Weisslers produced “Annie Get Your Gun” in association with Luftig, as well as other producers. The Weisslers could not be reached for comment.
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