On Your Toes

Broadway Revival (1983)

Trivia & History

Originally, Natalia Makarova (Vera) only signed for half the six-week run at the Kennedy Center due to an engagement in Europe. Valentina Kozlova was to finish the run. Makarova would then return to the production for the New York run. However, on December 19, Makarova was hurt when counterweights tore loose at the beginning of "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue" causing a pipe to fall from the scenery hitting her . The rest of the performance was cancelled. She suffered lacerations to the head and a fractured shoulder. Had she been a few inches closer, the pipe might have crippled or killed her, according to the New York Times.

Valentina Kozlova assumed the role for the remainder of the Washington, DC run. Kozlova's husband, Leonid Kozlov, replaced George de la Peña for the remainder of the DC run.

Kozlova was offered the role of Vera on Broadway. Although Makarova returned to open the show. By February 1, Makarova had confirmed that she would return. de la Peña returned for the New York opening as well.


Rehearsals began on 11/1/1982.


Initially there were no plans to bring the show to New York. However, in August 1982, a spokesman for the Kennedy Center said that a New York run was inevitable. By October, Broadway plans were made.


Originally, the production was scheduled to go into the Martin Beck Theatre for a March 3 opening. When the producers leased the Virginia Theatre instead, the opening was pushed to March 6.


The production ran in Seattle for another pre-Broadway engagement before coming into New York.


A few days before rehearsals were to begin, choreographer George Balanchine fell ill and Peter Martins was brought in to stage "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue" and "Princess Zenobia". Donald Saddler restaged much of Balanchine's choreography.

Mr. Balanchine died a month after this production opened on Broadway.


The orchestra had 25 members and was too large for the Virginia Theatre's pit. The producers enlarged the pit to accomodate the musicians instead of reducing Han Spialek's original 1936 orchestrations.


The production had considerable ties to the original 1936 Broadway production. George Abbott was the original librettist and uncredited director. George Balanchine was the original choreographer. And the original Hans Spialek orchestrations were used (Mr. Spialek reconstructed the originals specifically for this production).


In December 1983, a group of 11 investors in the production sued the producers claiming that they were defrauded. They claim that after months of the show doing good business, they had not been paid. 


The production was capitalized at $1.1M.

Prior to Broadway, the production lost considerable money. In Washington DC, they lost $103,000 and in Seattle, they lost $561,000. An additional $200,000 was needed to bring the show to New York.



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