Musical Chairs - ROCK OF AGES to Move to Helen Hayes; RAIN to Brooks Atkinson
Today, in a rare moment of Broadway synchronicity between several theater owners and producers, deals were struck to move two Broadway shows to alternate theatres for mutual benefit. ROCK OF AGES will move from The Brooks Atkinson Theatre to the Helen Hayes Theatre in March 2011 and the Beatles concert RAIN - A Tribute To The Beatles on Broadway at The Neil Simon Theatre will move to The Brooks Atkinson Theatre and begin performances on February 8, 2011.
In their current homes, ROCK OF AGES will play its final performance on Sunday, January 9, 2011 and RAIN, which has now been extended twice, will play its final performance on Saturday, January 15, 2011.
The plan was put in motion by The Nederlander Organization's James L. Nederlander and Nick Scandalios when it became apparent that the very successful limited, 12-week engagement of RAIN, playing at their Neil Simon Theatre, proved extremely popular with audiences and continued to gross a healthy profit. Rather than close the show in order to make way for the previously announced new musical CATCH ME IF YOU CAN, RAIN will now move to the Brooks Atkinson for an open-ended run.
The producers of the near two year old ROCK OF AGES were in turn encouraged by the Nederlander Organization to explore taking this critically acclaimed and popular hit musical - with a New Line Cinema film of the musical, directed by Adam Shankman (Hairspray), beginning production in early spring 2011 -- to The Helen Hayes Theatre since Colin Quinn LONG STORY SHORT is playing a limited engagement through February 5, 2011 (which extended earlier today).
Moving to a smaller theatre for both RAIN and ROCK OF AGES will prove to be an economically savvy decision. While both shows continue to turn a profit on a weekly basis at their current theatres, the moves will increase the odds of a lengthier and healthier run, especially as the industry approaches the historically challenging winter months.
"We are very happy with the outcome for both shows. We were amongst the earliest ROCK OF AGES fans and are proud to have had them in the Brooks Atkinson for nearly two years -- this show surprised everyone and has exceeded all expectations. The production is such a fun time and it will play wonderfully at the Helen Hayes. RAIN has been another great experience for us and is doing very well at the Neil Simon. We're glad to have found a solution to allow this crowd-pleasing show to deliver the power of the Beatles' music, live, to New York audiences beyond its limited engagement," said James L. Nederlander. "The collaboration between the Nederlander Organization, producers of both shows and the ownership at the Helen Hayes to solve this complex equation has been a rare and wonderful thing for Broadway or any industry- a win-win-win-win situation."
"After consistently being one of the top 20 grossing US concert tours for the past three years, we were thrilled to have the opportunity to bring RAIN - A Tribute to The Beatles to Broadway," said Lee Marshall and Jeff Parry, producers of RAIN. "Audiences in North America have been extraordinarily enthusiastic and now the response and demand for RAIN on Broadway has been overwhelming. We are extremely pleased to be able to extend even further at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. So much of The Beatles' story is intertwined with New York and New Yorkers feel a tremendous bond with them. The Broadway community has been incredibly supportive and we are delighted to be re-opening RAIN in February and to be able to pay tribute to The Beatles historic appearance on the Ed Sullivan show on February 9, 1964."
"At exactly this time two years ago, in the worst economic climate seen in decades and against all odds, we announced that ROCK OF AGES was moving to Broadway," said Lead Producers of ROCK OF AGES Matthew Weaver and Carl Levin. "And it's just been that kind of incredible, underdog journey since the beginning. We started on Hollywood Boulevard six years ago and have gone to the Tony Awards, launched our first national tour, opened productions in Toronto, Korea and soon in countries all over the world and to top it off we have a major movie deal. There is still a huge audience out there for ROCK OF AGES and in order to flourish during the universally financially difficult winter months and keep Broadway's Best Party going forever, moving to the intimate Helen Hayes is the perfect solution."
Martin Markinson, Helen Hayes Theatre co-owner said "I am happy that the outcome satisfies all parties and am delighted to be part of the solution. My partner, Jeff Tick, and all of us at the Helen Hayes Theatre could not be more excited!"