'Hat' extends; 'Horse,' 'Sister' to tour

While some Broadway shows are making a quick exit in the wake of Tony snubs, others are capitalizing on awards heat: Chris Rock starrer “The Motherfucker With the Hat” will extend its limited run, while play “War Horse” and tuner “Sister Act” have both set plans to launch national touring productions.

Although the “Motherfucker” producers initially struggled to market a play with a title unprintable in most media outlets, weekly sales began to rise following strong reviews for the world preem of Stephen Adly Guirgis’ work. Momentum picked up further when the profanity-laced romantic comedy drew six Tony noms, including new play and bids for thesps Bobby Canavale, Elizabeth Rodriguez and Yul Vazquez.

Show, originally skedded for a 14-week run that began with previews March 15 ahead of an April 11 opening, will now shutter July 17. Producing team includes Scott Rudin, Stuart Thompson, Public Theater Prods. and LAByrinth Theater Company.

Meanwhile, two open-ended Gotham titles, “War Horse” and “Sister Act” — each with five Tony noms — have laid the groundwork for national tours next year, with another open-ended production of “War Horse” set up in Toronto.

Commercial producer Bob Boyett and London’s National Theater lead the producing team of both the 20-city tour and the Canuck incarnation. “War Horse” originated at the National in 2007, while Boyett is onboard the Broadway version, also produced by Lincoln Center Theater.

Family-friendly story of a horse and his boy in WWI, staged with elaborate puppets, has locked in a run at Toronto’s Princess of Wales Theater starting in February 2012. Then in June 2012, the U.S. tour makes its bow at Boise State U.’s Morrison Center prior to a skedded stint at L.A.’s Ahmanson June 13-July 22 Further stops include San Francisco, Dallas, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

“Sister Act,” the musical adaptation of the 1992 screen comedy, will kick off its own tour at Toronto’s Canon Theater in fall 2012, with further North American stops to be nailed down.

Upbeat news for these Tony contenders contrasts with the fortunes of shows that fared less well in the awards arena. Tuner “Wonderland,” which drew no Tony bids, just announced it would shutter Sunday, while play “Lombardi” set a May 22 closing date after scoring a single nom for actress Judith Light.

However, “Wonderland” producers, encouraged by strong regional interest in the work of Frank Wildhorn as well as the show’s recognizable title, still aim to pull together a national tour.

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