‘Town’ to hit boards with books balanced

Martin bails out of 'Doll,' Tomei leaves 'Kimberly'

“Our Town” will begin previews Friday on a very positive note.

The Paul Newman starrer, capitalized at $1 million, has recouped. As of Tuesday, the Westport Country Playhouse production had sold just over 90% of its tickets for the 9½-week run on Broadway.

” ‘Our Town’ breaks even at 90% capacity in seven weeks,” Westport’s exec director Alison Harris told Daily Variety in October. “At 80%, we don’t recoup in seven.” Which is why Newman agreed to the longer run, ending Jan. 26 with a benefit perf for Westport.

Despite a huge 23-member cast, plus understudies, “Our Town” keeps its nut low by paying each thesp the minimum Equity scale of $1,302 per week.

“Our Town” officially opens Dec. 4. Steven Levy, the show’s general manager, said the play’s preview period was virtually sold out.

Other legit news

Andrea Martin will not be playing Jacqueline Susann in the Broadway production of “Paper Doll” in the spring. Start date for her new CBS sitcom, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” has been delayed.

Marisa Tomei has dropped out of MTC’s production of David Lindsay-Abaire’s “Kimberly Akimbo,” skedded to open Feb. 4. There’s a reported rehearsal conflict with a Broadway revival of “Sweet Charity,” which she will headline.

The Signature Theater is replacing Lanford Wilson’s “Talley’s Folly” with his “Fifth of July” in January in the company’s current season dedicated to the playwright.

The New York Theater Workshop took out an extraordinary full-page ad in Tuesday’s New York Times to promote the extension of Caryl Churchill’s “Far Away” to Jan. 18. Is NYTW really kicking off a commercial transfer, possibly a double header in Gotham with Churchill’s “A Number,” now at the Royal Court in London? After all, both plays clock in at around 60 minutes.

“The play is staying right here,” said Lynn Moffat, managing director at NYTW. “There’s not another theater in New York that can hold the set.” The NYTW stage is so wide and deep that the original productions there of “Rent” and “Dirty Blonde” had to be reduced when they transferred to Broadway.

As for the expensive Times ad, Moffat reported, “We’re just celebrating the play and Caryl.”

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