Tony nom can’t keep ‘Frog’ from croaking

Legiter sets early closing after 73 regular perfs

Sometimes a Tony nomination for best musical isn’t enough.

The producers of “A Year With Frog and Toad” announced that, despite the Tony mention, they’ll close the children’s tuner by Robert and Willie Reale on June 15, one week after the kudocast.

“Frog and Toad” received little or no B.O. bump when the Tony noms were announced May 12. Weekly receipts have continued to languish under $150,000, at least $50,000 below breakeven. The show represents a loss of $3 million, its entire capitalization.

“Frog and Toad” opened April 13 at Broadway’s Cort Theater after engagements at Off Broadway’s New Victory and the Children’s Theater of Minneapolis. Ticket prices there were around $35; on Broadway, the 90-minute show has a $90 top, which comes to a few cents per minute more than “The Lion King.”

Many young theatergoers, however, have seen the amphibian show for free. In an innovative twist, the “F&T” producers set up the nonprofit Friends of Frog & Toad to distribute tix free of charge to inner-city children. Administered by Camp Broadway and the Educational Theater Assn., the org receives blocks of discounted $35 ducats, which are in turn purchased by corporations and individuals. Obviously, more donations were needed.

When it closes June 15, “F&T” will have played 15 previews and 73 regular perfs.

Plummer is ‘Lear’

Lincoln Center Theater will present Christopher Plummer in Shakespeare’s “King Lear” in 2004. Under the direction of Jonathan Miller, the production is being produced in association with the Stratford Festival of Canada, where Plummer performed the play last summer under Miller’s direction.

Previews of the LCT production begin Feb. 11, with opening night set for March 4 at the Vivian Beaumont Theater. The LCT cast also features James Blendick, Domini Blythe, Benedict Campbell, Brent Carver, Ian Deakin, Claire Jullien, Barry MacGregor, Lucy Peacock, Stephen Russell and Brian Tree.

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