'Moon' shining over troubled musical?
Legiters are already speculating about what show will go next into the Brooks Atkinson — the Broadway house whose current resident, the Twyla Tharp-Bob Dylan tuner “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” took a critical drubbing after its Thursday opening .
It’s bad form, of course, to speak too loudly about replacing a show that hasn’t officially given up the ghost, and the producers of “Times” say not to count them out just yet.
But early word is that the Rialto-bound transfer of Eugene O’Neill’s “A Moon for the Misbegotten,” the hit production starring Kevin Spacey running at London’s Old Vic, has its eye on the Atkinson to begin previews in late March for an April opening.
It’d be a homecoming for Spacey and helmer Howard Davies, whose earlier collaboration on an O’Neill play, “The Iceman Cometh,” had a successful run at the Atkinson in 1999.
Some industry folk wonder if “Grease,” the Nederlander co-production that will be hyped by an upcoming reality-TV skein before its skedded June opening, also may want the Nederlander-owned Atkinson as a backup option if a larger theater doesn’t open up.
Still, producers of “Times,” including James L. Nederlander and Hal Luftig, aren’t folding yet, despite the nasty notices.
“We have a kick-ass TV commercial,” Luftig said. The spot began airing Thursday, and they’ve committed to running it at least through Nov. 19.
Producers also are aiming to keep running costs down while making a marketing push with direct email blasts.
Thus far, box office for the show has been middling, averaging in the $350,000 range.
“We’re going to monitor it very closely, and as we move away from the sting of those reviews, maybe people will start to come,” Luftig said. “We’ll know in a few weeks.”