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Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Stage Addiction: When Off-Broadway Loses The "Off"

As 2008 reaches its end on the rialto, there's not a lot of news to report. Come January, there will be nearly a dozen empty Broadway houses, but at least we now know what will be going into a few of them. Rock of Ages, the Off-Broadway hair-band jukebox musical, will transfer into the Brooks Atkinson after the excreable Grease departs. (ROA is also becoming a movie...now that's what I call aggressive producing!) Meanwhile, Tovah Feldshuh, the Jewish doyenne of the American theatre, will bring her Off-Broadway drama Irena's Vow into the Walter Kerr once The Seagull has flown the coop.

Still no word on what, if anything, will be the Spring 2009 tenants at the Barrymore, Belasco, Hilton, Neil Simon, Longacre, Jacobs or Circle in the Square. And the only shows I know of actively looking for Broadway real estate are the Lincoln Center production of Joe Turner's Come and Gone and the musical Nerds. Well, maybe this thing, but it's a rumor at best, and who knows if it has its financing together.

Still, not everything's bad news...case in point, Exhibit A. And Exhibit B. And Exhibit C, the Under The Radar Festival, which gets the ModFab Seal Of Approval as the Best Theatre Festival In NYC All Year Long, Period. Tickets are only $15 bucks, which makes it economically-sensitive as well. And who wouldn't spend this little to see world-class artists?

But, in truth, not everything is good news, either. Oy vey. Next week, we'll have our ModFabulous Best of 2008 column. And then, thank God, it'll be 2009.
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