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August 3, 2012

Broadway-bound 'Diner' to be retooled, postpones out-of-town tryout

The musical version of Barry Levinson's 1982, Baltimore-set film "Diner" will not have its out-of-town tryout in San Francisco this fall, as previously planned.

Instead, the show, with a book by Levinson and music and lyrics by Sheryl Crow, is undergoing a bit of downsizing in order to open next spring in what is being described as ...

"a more intimate Broadway venue."

"Diner" was originally intended for a large house, but questions arose over the availability of such a venue, given the competition for venues. The producers and artistic team decided instead to refashion the show for "a theater with a capacity no larger than 1,100 seats," according to a press release issued Friday.

The release quotes said producer Scott Zeiger, co-CEO of BASE Entertainment:

“Once you have locked in your physical production out of town, there is no flexibility to subsequently play a smaller venue. With no guarantee of a large musical house in the spring, this was our only fiscally responsible choice. We are also encouraged by recent examples of successful, critically-acclaimed musicals playing theaters with roughly the same capacity that we will play.”

Instead of staging the try-out in San Francisco’s SHN Curran Theatre, where the musical had been booked for a month-long run beginning Oct. 23, those weeks will be devoted to a "fully-staged workshop in New York for the creative team to make necessary artistic revisions."

There is a possibility that the revamped "Diner" will still get a pre-Broadway run in San Francisco in early 2013. The Broadway opening is set for April 10, at a theater to be announced "very shortly.” 

"I love that we are envisioning DINER for a more intimate theatre ... where the audience can experience the show viscerally," the musical's director/choreographer Kathleen Marshall said.


Posted by Tim Smith at 3:04 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Clef Notes, Drama Queens

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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