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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.

PHOTO OF BARRY LEVINSON BY BALTIMORE SUN STAFF 

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 baltimoresun.com/artsmash. 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.
View the Artsmash blog
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