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Legit ‘Guys’ gamble pays off

West End McGregor-starrer quickly recoups

The West End revival of “Guys and Dolls,” starring Ewan McGregor and Jane Krakowski, has recouped its £3 million ($5.24 million) capitalization in 17 weeks.

Producers are claiming the payback as a record West End recoupment in so short a time.

Michael Grandage’s staging opened June 1 at the Piccadilly and has more or less gone clean ever since. Along with “Billy Elliot — The Musical,” the Frank Loesser revival was one of the few West End shows to withstand the summer downturn in business after the July terror attacks in London.

The Broadway classic has always been particularly beloved in Britain. Richard Eyre directed a National Theater revival in 1982 that was itself revived in 1996.

It remains to be seen whether the brisk business will continue into 2006, as McGregor departs in early December.

“Guys and Dolls” is produced by Howard Panter for Ambassador Theater Group and David Ian for Clear Channel Entertainment. They plan to open the show on Broadway in fall 2006.

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