June gloom hits Broadway as some big shows exit
NEW YORK -- With the weekend exit from the Broadway environs of the ill-fated "The Pirate Queen," the grand exodus has only just begun. Two more bite the dust Sunday: "Talk Radio," starring Liev Schreiber and directed by Robert Falls, which had always been scheduled for a limited run at the Longacre; and Harold Prince's "LoveMusik" at the Biltmore, with Donna Murphy and Michael Cerveris, featuring a book by Alfred Uhrey and music by Kurt Weill. I found "LoveMusik" thoroughly rich and rewarding, but obviously not enough other people did as it failed to create a stir or generate a run. One week later, on July 1, two more fold their tents: August Wilson's "Radio Golf" at the Cort, starring Harry Lennix and Tonya Pinkins and directed by Kenny Leon; and John Doyle's restaging of Stephen Sondheim's "Company," which wasn't helped enough by its recent Tony for best revival of a musical to fill the seats at the Ethel Barrymore. (I suspect that the musical number chosen to represent it on the Tony telecast hurt rather than helped it.) On July 8, "Inherit the Wind," starring Christopher Plummer, Brian Dennehy and Denis O'Hare and directed by Doug Hughes, finishes its limited run at the Lyceum; on July 29, "110 in the Shade," with Audra McDonald and John Cullum and directed by Lonny Price, checks out of Studio 54. That same day, the Walt Disney Co.'s "Beauty and the Beast" at the Lunt-Fontanne will finish its whopping 13-year Broadway run that began April 18, 1994, at the Palace. ... In August, more will be wrapping their runs: On Aug. 19, "Frost/Nixon" finishes at the Jacobs, with Frank Langella giving his Tony-winning interpretation of Richard Nixon as a lion in winter, joined by the equally expert Michael Sheen as David Frost. On Aug. 25, Vanessa Redgrave in the book-on-tape rendition of "The Year of Magical Thinking" ends at the Booth; also in August, Angela Lansbury and Marian Seldes will be watching tennis balls fly for the last time in Terrence McNally's "Deuce" at the Music Box. ... Speaking of Lansbury, one of the most Tony-rewarded of all performers: On Sunday, she will receive another prestigious prize: the Players' Edwin Booth Life Achievement Award, given at a black-tie event at the Players headquarters at Gramercy Park. Lansbury will be feted and toasted by a classy group including Seldes, Plummer, Dennehy, Cullum, Mary Louise Wilson, John McMartin, John Erman and others. ... Meanwhile, at least two new productions will be reversing the goodbye-Broadway trend before June disappears altogether. On June 28, the revival of John Van Druten's "Old Acquaintance," with Margaret Colin and Harriet Harris, opens its limited eight-week run at the American Airlines Theatre. The opening night for "Xanadu" at the Helen Hayes keeps getting shifted around, but it's also supposed to be a June starter. In the meantime, it's prevuing. ... Tonight at Feinstein's at Loews Regecy, Mary Wilson, one of the founding members of the Supremes, makes her Feinstein's debut, where she'll be supremely in residence for the next two weeks.