“Zanna Don’t!,” the musical that closed Off Broadway almost a year and a half ago, is eyeing a spring Broadway run with a revised script and a new title, “Zanna!”
Eric Schaeffer, artistic director of the Signature Theater in Virginia, would direct the project, according to a casting notice.
In September, Schaeffer directed a reading of a revised version of the tuner, starring “Avenue Q” Tony nominee John Tartaglia in the role of Zanna. Jai Rodriguez played that role Off Broadway before he became the “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” culture expert.
Tuner tells the story of a high school in which homosexuality is the norm and heterosexuals are shunned. Tim Acito came up with the concept, wrote the music and lyrics and co-wrote the book with Alexander Dinelaris.
Lead producer would be Jack Dalgleish, who originally optioned the tuner and then shepherded it through its development along with AMAS Musical Theater. He and AMAS produced a short Off Broadway run at the Kirk Theater in fall 2002 before the tuner jumped to the John Houseman Theater in spring 2003.
Despite critical acclaim, the John Houseman run closed after 119 perfs without making back its $750,000 capitalization. After it closed June 29, 2003, Dalgleish began his attempt to scrape together $3 million or $4 million for a Broadway run.
“Zanna” was part of a larger trend, as Off Broadway has not been kind to new musicals lately. While salaries and other costs are lower than they are on Broadway, theater capacities and ticket prices are lower as well, making the possibility for profit so low that a Broadway run — where potential profits are higher — is often seen as a risk worth taking.
“Musicals you would traditionally see Off Broadway are now going to Broadway,” Dalgleish told Daily Variety on Wednesday, citing “Urinetown,” “Avenue Q,” “Taboo” and “Brooklyn” as examples.