The limited run of mega-selling Broadway production “It’s Only a Play” just got a little less limited: The comedy will move to the Jacobs Theater — right next door to its current venue, the Schoenfeld — in January, when Martin Short will take over the part currently played by Nathan Lane.
The shuffle had been expected, with rumors both of the theater switchup and of the casting filtering through the industry over the last few days. Despite the play’s hefty box office success, the show was required to exit the Schoenfeld to make way for a spring run of Helen Mirren starrer “The Audience.” Lane’s rotation out of the cast also couldn’t be avoided: He departs the production Jan. 4 to start rehearsal for “The Iceman Cometh,” set to begin performances at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in February.
Short, who hasn’t appeared on Broadway since his 2006 show “Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me,” will step into a starry cast that includes Matthew Broderick, Megan Mullally, Rupert Grint, Stockard Channing and F. Murray Abraham. The production’s critical mass of recognizable faces is a major factor in its B.O. success, and the addition of Short seems likely to keep sale momentum high.
“It’s Only a Play” will now run through Jan. 18 at the Schoenfeld, with Lane exiting the production Jan. 4. Short will take over after that, and then move with the production to the Jacobs, where it starts performances Jan. 23 and is currently scheduled to run through March 29.