Duo produced 'August,' 'Spring Awakening'
Jeffrey Richards and Jerry Frankel have teamed with the Public Theater to act as co-lead producers of the upcoming Broadway revival of “Hair” — replacing Elizabeth I. McCann as the lead commercial producer on the project.McCann, who worked with the Public last season on the Rialto transfer of “Passing Strange,” remains on board, although it’s not yet clear in what capacity. Production’s timeline has been pushed back slightly, with the show now beginning previews at the Al Hirschfeld Theater March 6 ahead of a March 31 opening. Eden Espinosa (“Brooklyn”) has booked the lead role of Sheila in the 1960s flower-power tuner. Switchup among the producers comes in the wake of industry chatter that the production, a Broadway transfer of a successful 2008 offering from the Public’s Shakespeare in the Park program, has been having trouble raising its capitalization costs, which producers now peg at $5.5 million. No official reason was given for bringing on new commercial partners, although it’s said that Richards and Frankel hopped aboard promising to raise an additional chunk of funds. Credits for Richards and Frankel include Tony winners “August: Osage County” and “Spring Awakening,” as well as “Speed-the-Plow” and upcoming plays “Reasons to be Pretty” and “Blithe Spirit.” Most of the creative team for the prior staging of “Hair” returns for the Rialto incarnation, with Diane Paulus as helmer and Karole Armitage as choreographer. Scott Pask (set), Michael McDonald (costumes), Acme Sound Partners (sound) and new addition Kevin Adams (lights) round out the team. Many of the actors from the previous production also are expected to return, although some of the leads, including Jonathan Groff (“Spring Awakening”), are not. Espinosa, the only announced thesp, is new to the project.