Two weeks after the deadly Times Square construction accident closed four theatrical productions, the producers of the Off Broadway tuner “Smoke on the Mountain” announced yesterday that they would reopen at the Lambs theater last night.
But the last two weeks have played havoc with the finances of four shows, including “Smoke,” the Roundabout Theater Co. productions of “Sideman” and “Cabaret” on Broadway and “You Never Can Tell” Off Broadway, and producers say they are unsure of what the future will hold.
“At this point, we need to restart the engine,” said Carolyn Rossi Copeland, a producer of the “Smoke,” adding “We were going into the next three weeks sold out. Now, the advance sale is very low.”
The fact that the two crucial, indeed, irreplaceable, weeks of the prime tourist season have elapsed further complicates financial matters for “Smoke” and for “Cabaret,” the only show still closed. “Smoke” is estimated by production insiders to have lost $120,000 in the past two weeks in revenues alone.
“You can’t resell those tickets,” said Copeland. “You can’t re-book a hotel for Wednesday on a Tuesday. It isn’t like in a restaurant where the food goes bad, and you don’t order any more of it. This is going to be a hard concept for them (the Tishman Organization) to understand.”
“Smoke’s” fixed operating costs as well as a hefty $50,000-plus print-radio-outdoor ad campaign that launched while it was closed makes the ordeal all the more bitter. It’s not yet clear if the production will lose its $500,000 investment.
The Roundabout’s artistic director, Todd Haimes, said that moving the $3.5 million production of “Cabaret” is still possible, and that Studio 54, owned by Gotham-based Allied Partners, “remains the most realistic of options before us.” Haimes confirmed that all the Broadway theater owners have pitched thea-ters, but that no deal is likely to be reached “because it would be some kind of hybrid” compared with the authentic cabaret space at the presently closed Kit Kat Klub on 43rd Street.
Haimes estimated that “Cabaret” had lost $560,000 since it closed on July 21 and that the Roundabout lost an additional $200,000 from the temporary closures of “Sideman” and “You Never Can Tell,” which reopened last week.