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Could a touring show make a Broadway stop?

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Justin D
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Could a touring show make a Broadway stop?#1
Posted: 9/24/09 at 10:33am
I've always wondered this, it may seem silly but....

Is it possible for a touring show that is not on Broadway anymore (or has not yet been) make a "Broadway stop" if a theatre were available for a limited time?

It does not seem to happen so I was wondering if there is some regulation preventing it, or it seems like a bad idea for producers. Surely it cant be a financial thing unless the theatre rental is higher on Broadway than the touring houses.

I know that theatre space in Broadway is usually tight, but there are sometimes when a theatre is dark for a long time.

Or would a touring show that wanted to make a NYC stop have to do like Annie and go to Madison Square Garden?

Just wondering.....
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Updated On: 9/24/09 at 10:33 AM
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I want to say it wasn't uncommon back in the day for a show to do a brief return to Broadway during their tour. Didn't the original West Side Story do that?
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We got "White Christmas" before it hit Broadway. Can't remember if it was touring at the time.
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The original West Side Story played from Sep 26, 1957-Jun 27, 1959, then it toured, and then returned to the Winter Garden Theatre Apr 27, 1960-Dec 10, 1960.

According to IBDB, and Wiki, this was a "return engagement". Larry Kert, and Carol Lawrence stared in both "productions".
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I don't know a whole lot about this subject, but I do know that many tours are booked years in advance - Wicked, for example, has both tours scheduled through at least the next two years. It's not usually possible to know that far ahead of time that a Broadway theater will be available. I'd guess it's more of a logistical issue than anything else - tours can't exactly change plans at the last minute.
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it happens quite frequently here in London. For instance, the production of An Inspector Calls that's currently playing at the Novello Theatre is the tour production, filling the gap before Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
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101 Dalmatians and Little House may do just that if they are successful, according to producers.

Variety had a big article about this kind of thing recently.
Variety Article
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Reading that article reminds me of the Equity and Non Equity tours. Would a toyr stopping on "Broadway" then have to be an Equity tour?
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The rules may have changed...

But when I was doing these kinds of things, Equity asked that shows under the production contract designate a point-of-origin city. Examples are NYC, Chicago, San Francisco or LA, but there are probably more by now.

Once the origin city has been named, that is the engagement where out of town per-diems do not have to be paid. This is a reason that companies are referred to as 'sit-down' productions. Wicked's 4 year Chicago run was almost certainly a sit-down.

Many tours that play 1-4 week runs use NY as a point-of-origin because they will rehearse here and therefore do not have to pay per diems in addition to rehearsal pay.

In the 70s Pearl Bailey was touring in Dolly, and they came to NY for 6 weeks or so. The producers tried to change the point-of-origin (it had been, let's say LA) for the NY run and Equity said no and that the curtain would not rise on the run unless the producers accepted the terms of their contract. There was bad blood briefly in the street, but the actors got their money. This isn't a case of bad producing so much as a case of sneaky producing.

Shows can come in for a limited or open run, but they have to treat NY as a stop on the road if that is how the terms were originally laid out. These point-of-origin rules probably effect the crew and touring orchestra members also.

Has anyone been a production contract deputy lately to help clarify?
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mina, Wicked is already on Broadway and didn't tour before opening. It did an out of town tryout.

Little House will be here in December. Am looking forward to it.
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uncageg, I know. It was simply an example of how far in advance tours plan their engagements. I was definitely not suggesting that a Wicked tour is likely to make a stop in NYC - it's just the show whose inner workings I understand most clearly.

WOSQ, that makes a lot of sense. While I haven't been a deputy, I've seen quite a few recent production contracts (tours and otherwise) and your explanation is very plausible under the current terms.
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In the 80s the Dreamgirls revival came to broadway for a short run.
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I might be mistaken so if I am correct me. But, didn't the 1990's revival of Grease, that was produced by the Wisslers, have a touring stop at City Center while the Broadway production was only playing a few blocks away at The O'Neil?


Also, I don't know why, but I have a feeling that should a touring production play at a Broadway house there might be some trouble if it turns out to be a non equity tour. However, I'm not so sure considering the fact that when Annie played the theatre at MSG, that was the NETworks non equity tour that played there for a bit.

One more thing, couldn't producers use the theatre at MSG for tours?
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Dalmatians is playing the WAMU in April, but that's not a Broadway house. It's just a tour stop.
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LES MISERABLES

I don't think any of us were fooled into thinking that "return/revival" was anything less than a more glamorous final tour stop.
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I also add Les Miz, but in that it technically did tour to Broadway -- after they fired a bunch of people in 1996, then brought in the tour to make sure the show was still playing.

Contrary to what Eugene just said, I didn't feel like the revival was a tour stop because I would've expected better out of the tour.
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I believe there have been several tours that have played Broadway, but I'm not sure that they're exactly classified as just being stops on the tour route. I believe the revival of Camelot with Richard Harris started out as a tour as well as the Cathy Rigby Peter Pan though Broadway could have been the intention all along for both productions. I don't know.
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Dooodle---Dreamgirls is the one that came to mind for me, too. The Broadway run, which was not part of the original "tour" schedule, ended up being a bus-and-truck revival of the show.
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I also remember two large-scale national tours in the late '80s ended up on Broadway, but that was always the plan for them.

Both the Tyne Daly revival of Gypsy and the (first) Topol revival of Fiddler on the Roof had national tours before running, open-ended, on Broadway. I saw them both, prior to their Broadway engagements in Los Angeles. And we were just one stop on the tour.
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Happens all the time in the UK
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What about a Little Shop tour?

And isn't "Wishful Drinking" just making a tour "stop" on Broadway? I mean it is a limited run, and it did tour to two other parts of the country, and I'm sure it will continue to tour after the Broadway leg.