Noises Off: ‘Madness’ delayed

Helmer Fickman's 'Daddy' stint triggers postponement

The Nederlanders’ production of Kevin Murphy and Dan Studney’s tuner “Reefer Madness” looked like a shoo-in for the Variety Arts this summer, following the exit of “Dinner with Friends” on May 27.

But now Andy Fickman, who helmed the musical in its original L.A. incarnation, got another gig, directing his first film, “Who’s Your Daddy?” The show has now been postponed until the fall.

Like “Bat Boy” and “Urinetown,” “Reefer Madness,” with its 10-to-14 actors, fits into that awkward too-hip-for-Broadway/too-big-for-Off-Broadway slot. Ben Sprecher, manager and co-owner of the Variety Arts, says “Madness” is a “strong contender” for that house, even though it might mean keeping the 499-seater dark for the summer.

Meanwhile, “Urinetown” is moving to Broadway. It opens at the Henry Miller in late July.

“Tabloids, urine and marijuana!” exclaims Robyn Goodman, a producer on “Bat Boy,” which opened in March at the Union Square Theater. “I think we’re seeing a new generation trying to reinvent musical theater by making fun of everything that exists, yet finding their own voice.”

Goodman is happy to be leader of this pack: “We saw these other musicals coming, which is why we decided to get ‘Bat Boy’ out there as soon as we could.”

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