Saturday, April 26, 2008

Theatre trivia

I was doing research on the Internet Broadway Database for another blog post and I came across some interesting trivia.

1.) Apparently, there's never been a Broadway revival of Evita, which really surprised me. The Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice tuner was pretty popular in its day, playing 1,567 performances from 1979 to 1983. Since then, nothing. Maybe the musical has simply toured too often, or it's considered too dated to attract theatregoers who most likely have never heard of Eva Peron? I know there was talk about bringing the 2007 London revival, starring Elena Roger, to Broadway, but that fell through. I can't believe there weren't earlier attempts. I've only seen the 1996 movie, but I love the story and the score. So I'm waiting.

2.) The revival of Cabaret played longer than the original Broadway production of the Kander and Ebb musical. The original began previews on Nov. 2, 1966 and played for 1,165 performances before closing on Sept. 6, 1969. The revival began previews on Feb. 13, 1998 and played for 2,377 performances before closing on Jan. 4, 2004. I'm not sure how uncommon it is for a revival to exceed the run of the original. The original production of Oklahoma, for example, played for 2,212 performances between 1943 and 1948. Since then, there have been four revivals, and not one has come close to lasting as long on Broadway as the original.

3.) Finally, why wasn't 1776, a musical about the writing of the Declaration of Independence, produced on Broadway in 1976? It seems to me that the Bicentennial would have been a perfect time for it. The original opened on March 16, 1969 and played for 1,217 performances, closing on Feb. 13, 1972. A revival began previews on July 16, 1997 and played for 333 performances, closing on June 14, 1998. What took them so long? If someone comes across this post in 2074 or so, don't say I didn't warn you.


Mondschein said...

Don't forget about the still-running revival of Kander and Ebb's "Chicago" - going on 12 years. The original ran just over two years.

Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Hey Esther - Evita stands the test of time. It's ALW's best musical ever IMHO.

Esther said...

Thanks, Mondschein! I didn't realize that the original "Chicago" only ran for two years. I wonder if the movie has helped boost interest in the stage version? (As well as the stunt casting).

Esther said...

Hey Steve,
I'll keep my fingers crossed that "Evita" gets a Broadway revival, but I don't think it'll happen anytime soon. I was really hoping the production that you saw and loved in London, with Elena Roger, would transfer. That was pretty widely praised, I believe, and if it didn't make its way to Broadway, how much hope is there? But I'm glad you think it stands the test of time. I really like it, even if I have only seen the movie version! I think the character of Evita Peron is so strong and the music does a great job of telling her story.