‘Wife’ ends B’way run on Sept. 15

Banderas, Benanti, Campbell joins Roundabout's 'Nine' revival

“The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife” will close Sept. 15 on Broadway.

The comedy by Charles Busch will have played 770 regular performances and 32 previews. It transferred to its current commercial run from the Manhattan Theater Club, where the show had its world premiere in spring 2000. After opening Nov. 2, 2000, at the Barrymore Theater, the production recouped its initial $1.5 million investment in a mere 10 weeks.

Last week, the show grossed a still robust $239,946.

Linda Lavin originated the role of Marjorie, a harried Upper West Side matron. Valerie Harper took over for Lavin last summer, followed by Rhea Perlman, who currently stars. Perlman’s contract runs through Sept. 15.

‘Friends’ moving in

Nora Ephron’s “Imaginary Friends,” starring Cherry Jones and Swoosie Kurtz, is expected to follow “Wife” into the Barrymore Theater.

The worst B.O.-generating month of the year, September has turned into the season for closings this year. As previously announced, “Contact” and “The Full Monty” shutter on Sept. 1.

Other Broadway news:

  • Most Broadway productions will be dark Sept. 11. Unfortunately, several are playing makeup with an added perf the following Sunday evening, Sept. 15, which is the beginning of Yom Kippur, one of the lowest-attended periods of the year.

  • Gerald Schoenfeld confirmed the Shubert Org’s new $12 million Off Broadway theater on West 42nd Street will be called the Little Shubert, not to be confused with the big Shubert Theater on West 44th Street. The 499-seater opens on or about Nov. 1, with the world premiere of a play to be announced.

  • The much-ballyhooed Rosie O’Donnell/Joan Rivers show looks headed for the Roundabout’s American Airlines Theater. If they end up at the Roundabout’s Broadway venue, the duo will either follow “The Boys From Syracuse” this fall or be part of the theater’s Monday-night comedy series, which Mario Cantone kicked off in June. O’Donnell will do one hour, followed by an hour of comedy from Rivers, or vice versa.

  • As for the Roundabout’s 2003 revival of “Nine,” it’s shaping up with the dream cast of Antonio Banderas (Guido), Laura Benanti (Claudia), Nell Campbell (Saraghina), Jane Krakowski (Carla), Chita Rivera (Liliane) and Saundra Santiago (Stephanie). They’re still searching for the perfect Luisa.

  • Cameron Mackintosh was once king of the road with “Cats,” “Les Miserables” and “Phantom.” Last week, Disney laid claim to nearly 45% of all road receipts, thanks to “Aida,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Lion King.”

  • Gotham remains in a tizzy over Newsday’s recent reprint of Michael Phillips’ downbeat Chicago Tribune review of “Movin’ Out” by Billy Joel and Twyla Tharp. (Both papers are owned by the Tribune Co.) Of reviewing Broadway-bound shows in New York prior to their preem here, “Movin’ Out” producer James L. Nederlander has been heard to complain, “It is a bad precedent.” Precedent? Nederlander is old enough to recall the 1940s and ’50s, when certain Gotham rags, including the New York Times, made a habit of running critics’ weekly progress reports of shows as they traveled from city to city on their way to Broadway.

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