'Titanic' Musical Hopes Sink After Producers Fail to Secure Venue

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Thursday, 22 May 2014 09:06 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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Plans for a "Titanic" musical revival on Broadway this fall took on water after producers said this week that they could not find a stage for the multiple Tony Award-winning show.

The original 1997 production of "Titanic" the musical captured five Tony Awards, including prizes for Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Sets during its 800-show run.

Producers of the revival, though, are citing a "lack of the availability of a Broadway house" as the reason they've been forced to scrap plans for a fall return, according to The Associated Press.

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"Revised plans will be announced as soon as scheduling allows," the producers said in a statement this week.

"Titanic" spokesman Adrian Bryan-Brown told The New York Times that the show had already been "fully financed" so the delay will not cause a financial hardship. Casting, however, has not been announced, he told the newspaper.

The show, scored by Maury Yeston and booked by Peter Stone, was slated to hold tryouts in Toronto in late July and then move to New York City for the fall, The Times noted. Producers told the newspaper they were shooting for an "intimate scale" performance by booking the show in a modest-sized musical house.

The "Titanic" revival is scheduled to be directed by Thom Southerland, who spearheaded the show in a 240-seat London theater last summer, according to The Times.

Producers announced plans to revive "Titanic" in January, some 15 years after it left Broadway. The first production cost $10 million, one of the most expensive shows in Broadway history at that time, said the newspaper.

Even though the original "Titanic" musical was a big winner at the Tony Awards, it still opened to mixed reviews back in 1997.

"It's not that the cast isn't more than competent, but in fixing the characters as points on a social graph, the show almost invariably opts for the most basic stereotypes," Times critic Ben Bentley wrote at the time. "J. Bruce Ismay (David Garrison), the managing director of the White Star line of ships to which the Titanic belonged, is here a smarmy, arrogant villain of a businessman, urging Capt. E. J. Smith (John Cunningham), to take the vessel to dangerous speeds."

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