Why 'The Witches of Eastwick' never made it to Bway?

kadu335
Featured Actor
joined:5/3/09
I was wondering... Why this show never made it to Broadway?
I saw a great production of it last year and I enjoyed it a lot more than most of the movie adaptations I've seen(even on Broadway).

From what I read, it had a respectable run in the West End and the reviews were good as well. Did they ever intended to move the show to Broadway after opening it in London? Is there any chance it could ever do it eventually, or it is hard for shows to make it to Broadway after such a long time since their international premiere?
Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
greensgreens
Stand-by
joined:10/14/09
I always thought it kind of came down to timing and the tinkering done to the show itself. The show was continuously revised - and I think still is (wasn't it revised for the Signature last year?). The show was being workshopped prior to 9/11 for B'way, if memory serves me correctly. I want to say that Kristin Chenoweth was even involved at one point - maybe for Sookie?

It is a shame it never made it to B'way, as I do think it has a wonderful score and great potential.

I also have a strange fantasy where the original three ladies reprise their roles for the stage to a Jim Steinman score. Obviously, a very long shot, but I think it sounds exciting. However, I would not be anxious for Jack to join them. Maybe Victor Garber - he has played the devil so deliciously before?
kadu335
Featured Actor
joined:5/3/09
I read they closed the show in London as an effect of 9/11... I didn't know they were planing to move the show to New York.

I liked the score a lot but they made a couple of changes in the production I saw (cut songs from the London show and added new ones). I agree about the show's potential, it's a shame it never made it to NYC.

On your last comment, I was surprised the London cast looked so "old" in contrast to the Brazilian production I saw... I don't think they would fit the roles nowadays if the show was made on Broadway.

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
Updated On: 4/1/12 at 01:41 PM
Dubliner
Understudy
joined:5/26/11
I saw it in Drury Lane and really enjoyed it. I did strike me however as an American Musical Comedy and it that it should really have premiered on Broadway. The score was in no way memorable but the cast and audience both seemed to be having a ball. It was very, very funny.
Mr Roxy
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
Saw it in London and throughly enjoyed it.
Cynicism is an unpleasant way of saying the truth - Lillian Hellman.
kadu335
Featured Actor
joined:5/3/09
For the ones who saw the original in London, was the show "racy" in any way? I mean, both in language and visually(I'm not sure i'm being clear. I don´t don't know how to phrase that question in english). I'm asking because i thought it would be more "family friendly" than it was when I finally saw it. I wanted to know if that was something incorporated into the musical after London or if it was always more risqué since the beginning.

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
Updated On: 4/1/12 at 02:21 PM
greensgreens
Stand-by
joined:10/14/09
The novel and subsequent movie aren't really very family friendly at all, nor is the central plot. Did you confuse this with Hocus Pocus, perhaps? The Witches of Eastwick has always been rather bawdy and racy. The original London production did have an "Americana" feel to it, but that should never have been mistaken for "family friendly."
kadu335
Featured Actor
joined:5/3/09
Hum... I knew very little about the movie or novel before seeing the show. I don't know why I thought It would be a "family comedy" haha. I actually liked more because it wasn't. Numbers like "Dance With The Devil" wouldn't work with a vanilla sort of treatment... I was curious to know if that "raciness" was a "brazilian" treatment of the show or if it was always intended to be like that. I really liked the direction, choreography and set design they did over here.. I wonder how different it was from the London production.

In case anyone want to see how the show was produced over here, there are some great professional footage on YouTube...

DIRTY LAUNDRY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZO-5cdbTuA

DANCE WITH THE DEVIL
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFPsmQ9N2nQ

MAKE HIM MINE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7ljnStei9M



Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
Updated On: 4/1/12 at 04:41 PM
bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
I had a video copy of the UK tour at one point... I still might. It was a very interesting show. A lot different than I expected.
"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
devonian.t
Broadway Legend
joined:7/26/04
I saw the original and revised versions.

It never had the punch of the movie- major pacing issues and a set that took the drama out of the scenario.

It seemed like the creative team could never find the right formula.

And I've never seen a decent Daryl van Horne. Robert Lindsay should have played the role.
Theatrical Landladies
Leading Actor
joined:12/17/04
While we enjoyed the show at Drury Lane we felt the character of the Devil (Ian McShane) was far too comic in style. His first song, Love this Little Town was OK but didn't set you up for the mischief he would cause. I always felt it should have had a private reprise for the audience only where he would reveal himself more.

Apparently the name put off a lot of the coach parties which are important to London shows and I think maybe it should have been called EASTWICK or something to broaden the appeal. While certainly mildly shocking I'm pretty sure people would have been carried away with the spectacle and a strong cast (not McShane though IMO).

Don't think you'll ever see it staged so expensively ever again! Pity!
"Your eyes..... they shine like the pants on my blue serge suit"
AnythingGoes2
Broadway Legend
joined:12/30/08
Broadway was cancelled due to 9/11 and the West End production came off early due to tourism downturn. The show prior to 9/11 and moving into the Wales was doing well.
kadu335
Featured Actor
joined:5/3/09
The actor I saw as Darryl Van Horne (Eduardo Galvão) wasn't really comic... he was a bit sarcastic but in a very moody way. I though it was a good fit for the character... I'm not sure if that was a choice made by the actor or by the director. Even though the Brazilian production last year was all new in terms of staging, sets, choreography, lighting, costumes, it had to be approved by Cameron MackIntosh and his company... only the book and score were the same. I'm not sure the directing was very different from the London and US productions.



Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
Updated On: 4/1/12 at 06:34 PM
NoName3
Broadway Star
joined:8/12/11
I have heard from two completely independent sources that the person who controls the rights has had either not the time, or not the interest, or not the right circumstances to produce it on Broadway the way he wants. Meanwhile, he sits on the rights and won't release them, not even for regional or amateur performances. And this is to the very great dismay of members of the creative team, who won't challenge him because of his importance.

It could be both my sources heard the same rumor and it's unfounded. But knowing their connections and knowledge I don't usually doubt them.

Now go ahead and shoot me.
TheatreDiva90016
Broadway Legend
joined:4/10/04
I saw it in London and had a really great time. I am also sad that it never made it to Broadway?
"TheatreDiva90016 - another good reason to frequent these boards less."<<>> “I hesitate to give this line of discussion the validation it so desperately craves by perpetuating it, but the light from logic is getting further and further away with your every successive post.” <<>> -whatever2
kadu335
Featured Actor
joined:5/3/09
NoName3, when you say that this person "sits on the rights and won't release them, not even for regional or amateur performances", you mean just for the U.S.?? Because the show has been done internationally in recent years.

Sorry if that's a stupid question, I don't really know how this things work.
Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
Ourtime992
Broadway Legend
joined:4/7/05
Isn't it Cameron Mackintosh who controls the rights? If so, I wouldn't fight him either!
Drama Doodles Poster Designs Making small town productions look Big Time!
kadu335
Featured Actor
joined:5/3/09
Well, I would think so, Ourtime992.
Cameron Mackintosh Ltd. is listed as a co-producer of the show in Brazil. I know all the changes and new concepts for the show here had to be approved by Cameron Mackintosh's team.

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
Updated On: 4/1/12 at 10:46 PM
Jonwo
Broadway Legend
joined:3/16/06
Didn't it struggle at the Drury Lane? I alway thought the show would have done better at a midsized theatre but none were available at the time.

Michael Crawford was originally sought for Daryl Van Horne before they went for Ian McShane.
mallardo
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/04
Daryl Van Horne is the problem with the show. It wasn't Ian McShane's fault - the character just doesn't work as written. He comes off as way too nasty and sleazy and you wonder what these three intelligent women see in him. If they could get him right the show might work.
Faced with these Loreleis, what man can moralize!
NoName3
Broadway Star
joined:8/12/11
Kadu, yes, I meant the US. And I forgot it has had one US production, in Arlington, Virginia. There was a staged reading in New York a few years ago too. And I probably shouldn't have posted because, again, I have no first hand knowledge and I could have been misinformed. But it's certainly curious, and unfortunate, that a show that has so much interest in it isn't being done.

Updated On: 4/2/12 at 03:59 AM
itsahopi
Understudy
joined:11/19/06
I saw the production at Drury Lane in 2000 and the Signature in 2007. I loved both for similar and different reasons. The spectacle in London was incredible, but the scaled down version in DC allowed more of the heart to come out. Both were directed by Eric Schaeffer. I felt that Marc Kudisch was able to make Darryl van Horne work in the later incarnation. The women were fantastic. The changes to the book and score were a step in the right direction. My only real complaint is that Jacquelyn Piro's Sukie was robbed of "Loose Ends." I distinctly remember Maria Friedman stopping the show with that poignant ballad and I do not agree with the creative team's choice to cut it.
songanddanceman2
Broadway Legend
joined:8/31/06
Th whole 9/11 argument been the cause of the shows closure was just a face saving excuse. The show struggled at Drury Lane and was always on the half price ticket booth during the Prince of Wales run. Yes 9/11 did not help when tourists stopped coming to the city, but many shows survived that. The ones that did not (about 4) were already struggling including Eastwick.

I watched the recent UK tour as well and thought it was fun, shame it never got to Broadway
Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
THDavis
Leading Actor
joined:10/31/08
A few years ago I'd heard a rumor that there was a workshop in which Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner were a part of. It seems like a stretch, but is that at all true?
greensgreens
Stand-by
joined:10/14/09
I heard a rumour that Loose Ends was only in there and given to Sukie as a concession to Maria Friedman, hence why it was subsequently cut. I don't know if she was directly displeased with the lack of stage time or if perhaps other things for her character were cut along the development path and this was seen as a way to balance out the three ladies. But I seem to recall that she was given this powerful song because the creative team were embarrassed to have such a big star in Friedman in what essentially was a smaller role. One of the various rumours I've heard over the years about this one...
newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
The show didn't close because of 9/11, it closed because it was losing money due to a dearth of sales, not related to 9/11. It had been playing to small houses for many months before 9/11.

Mackintosh tried very hard to champion the creators of the piece, working overtime to try to arrange a Broadway production, but couldn't drum up sufficient interest. And that's because, essentially, it's a rather dull piece of theatre with a few good musical moments. The authors have a definite talent, but unfortunately it's a talent for imitating others, generally Menken, Schwartz, and Sondheim. This is why, although they've churned out a good bit of product, very little has ever had any commercial life. It's just not good enough.

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