Original Broadway Production (1979)

Trivia & History

The production cut short its pre-Broadway run in Boston after negative reviews and poor business, opting instead to start previews on Broadway ahead of schedule, on January 11, 1979. At that time it was announced that the production would open on the originally announced date of January 30. The opening was then delayed till February 9.

When another delay, till February 23, was announced, the New York Times decided that it was time for the show to be reviewed since it was running an extensive ad campaign, including a television commercial that was being shown frequently in the New York area. The Times review appeared on Monday, February 12, making it likely that critic Richard Eder had attended the performance on Friday, February 9. An article that appeared in the Times on July 22, 1979, after the production closed, stated that it had never officially opened.

A review appeared in Variety on February 14. Other reviews appeared after the February 23 date, suggesting that the show did open. While it may be that the press simply bought tickets, holding the producers to the February 23 date, the production was deemed eligible for Tony awards, which certainly suggests that it did officially open. (Leading lady Tovah Feldshuh received the show's only nomination, for leading actress in a musical.)

Some sources list the opening date as January 11, and give the total number of performances as 177. Other sources list February 23 as the opening date and give the total number of performances as 140, following 37 previews. 

Having looked carefully into the matter, which included looking at the daily ABCs listings in the New York Times, and counting February 23 as the opening date, we have concluded that the production seems to have played 49 previews, followed by 129 performances from opening night to the closing.

The production started at the Mark Hellinger Theatre and transferred to the Broadway Theatre. Several online sources state the production played at the Hellinger from January 11, 1979 through March 4, 1979, and that it started performances at the Broadway on March 6. The ABCs listings in the New York Times reveals that this is incorrect. The production played its last performance at the Hellinger on Sunday, February 25. It resumed performances at the Broadway on Thursday, March 1, with the Tuesday and Wednesday performances that week canceled.

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