Jujamcyn’s Walter Kerr Theatre will have a new tenant for the 2015-2016 season. With producers lined up to fill any vacant house, the Kerr will bid farewell to A Gentleman’s Guide To Love And Murder on January 17, lead producer Joey Parnes says. The vaudeville-style musical, featuring the gifted Jefferson Mays in multiple roles, won four 2014 Tony Awards, including Best Musical as well as for direction (Darko Tresjnak), book (Robert L. Freedman) and costumes (Linda Cho). The nominated songs are by Steven Lutvak (music) and Freedman (lyrics). Peggy Hickey is the choreographer.
The musical will launch a national tour later this month. Parnes said the show — which originated at Connecticut’s Hartford Stage and California’s Old Globe Theatre, and began performances at the Kerr on October 22, 2013 — recouped its $7.5 million capitalization this past spring. Despite critics’ support and an aggressive and sporting promotional campaign that emphasized the show’s quirky story about the scheme of a ne’er-do-well to knock off every relative standing between him and a family fortune, the box office began to weaken last spring with the influx of new musicals. It will face even more competition with the season that has just gotten underway and a raft of new musicals that began with Hamilton and will include Andrew Lloyd Webber’s School Of Rock, a revival of Spring Awakening and the Emilio and Gloria Estefan biomusical On Your Feet! among other fall offerings in the pipeline.
A Gentleman’s Guide beat bigger shows for the Tony and was an anomaly in an increasingly corporatized Broadway landscape, featuring a raft of investors that was considerably larger than the cast.
“The success of this show -– which we’ve often said is nothing short of a miracle –- is a testament to the artists who have created it and the audiences who have embraced it,” said Parnes. “This experience has been such a constant joy and, while we wish it could run on Broadway forever, we are excited about bringing the show to audiences from coast-to-coast with our tour.”
In addition to Parnes, A Gentleman’s Guide To Love And Murder is produced on Broadway by Sue Wagner, John Johnson, 50 Church Street Productions, Joan Raffe & Jhett Tolentino, Jay Alix & Una Jackman, Catherine & Fred Adler, Rhoda Herrick, Kathleen K. Johnson, Megan Savage, Shadowcatcher Entertainment, Ron Simons, True Love Productions, Jamie deRoy, Four Ladies & One Gent, John Arthur Pinckard, Greg Nobile, Stewart Lane & Bonnie Comley, Exeter Capital/Ted Snowdon, Ryan Hugh Mackey, Cricket-CTM Media/Mano-Horn Productions, Dennis Grimaldi/Margot Astrachan, Hello Entertainment/Jamie Bendell, Michael T. Cohen/Joe Sirola, Joseph & Carson Gleberman/William Megevick and Robert Greenblatt, in association with The Hartford Stage and the Old Globe Theatre.