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 ...
"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.
PHOTO OF BARRY LEVINSON BY BALTIMORE SUN STAFF