‘Earnest’ extends 17 weeks

'People' moves to Studio 54 to accommodate change

The Roundabout Theater Company’s Broadway revival of “The Importance of Being Earnest” will extend its limited engagement by a whopping 17 weeks — pushing the next show that was set to bow at the American Airlines Theater, new tuner “The People in the Picture,” to another Roundabout venue, Studio 54.

“Earnest,” helmed by Brian Bedford, who also appears in the show as Lady Bracknell, earned strong reviews when the revival opened Jan. 13. Weekly attendance has since approached 95% of capacity in what is traditionally one of the slowest months on the Main Stem.

Aud appeal likely can be attributed to a combination of the upbeat reception with the high profile of the title, an 1895 comedy that is one of the best-known works of Oscar Wilde.

“Earnest,” which previously had been skedded to play through March 6 at the American Airlines Theater, now will end its run July 3.

“People in the Picture,” which had been due to begin its run at the American Airlines on April 1 ahead of an April 28 opening, will stick to the same production sked but move to Studio 54, one of the Roundabout’s three Rialto venues.

The new tuner from Mike Stoller, Artie Butler and Iris Rainer Dart stars Donna Murphy in an intergenerational tale about a pre-WWII Yiddish theater star in Poland who eventually emigrates to New York City.

Roundabout’s third Broadway theater, the Stephen Sondheim, will be occupied this spring by the Gotham nonprofit’s revival of “Anything Goes,” beginning perfs in March.

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