LLOYD WEBBER STAFFERS MULL FATE OF N.Y. OFFICE

NEW YORK — Toppers of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group will decide by the end of the month about the fate of the company’s New York office.

Speculation about downsizing, brewing since Really Useful laid off 16 employees at the company’s base in London (Daily Variety, Jan. 29), heated up this week when sources said Lloyd Webber’s Gotham operations — which goes by the name Really Useful Co. — will be slashed by July. A spokesman for Lloyd Webber said no decisions have been made.

But cutbacks at — if not an outright closing of — the 14-person office in Rockefeller Center would be in keeping with the rationale behind the London layoffs. Company execs said last month that the Brit cutbacks were made since Really Useful has no new productions in development for London.

Now, with the postponement of Lloyd Webber’s “Whistle Down the Wind,” New York faces a similar dry spell from his new work. Patrick McKenna, RUG’s London-based chair and CEO, is expected to make the decision about the cutbacks within the next few weeks, although Really Useful Co.’s Gotham-based president Edgar Dobie is a good bet to survive the turmoil.

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