Burn This, the Broadway revival of the Landford Wilson play that was to be a starring vehicle for Jake Gyllenhaal and the first production in the refurbished Hudson Theatre after five decades, has been postponed. Producers Stacey Mindich and Jessica R. Jenen just made the announcement, citing “scheduling conflicts with the show’s star.”
Gyllenhaal is set to co-star next week with Annaleigh Ashford in a concert version of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Sunday In The Park With George at New York City Center.
The Burn This revival was to begin performances in February 2017 with the play to officially open March 6. The show, with Gyllenhaal remaining as the marquee draw, is now aiming for the 2017-2018 season.
There has been little problem filling Broadway theaters these days, with four and sometimes five productions waiting for Main Stem openings. Burn This was to inaugurate the Hudson’s grand re-reopening after years of being used primarily as a corporate events site. The West 44th Street theater opened in 1903 and in 1956 hosted the first nationwide broadcast of The Tonight Show starring Steve Allen. All indications is that it’s still on track to open on schedule, as the refurbishments were modest.
Said Mindich and Jenen in their statement: “Ambassador Theatre Group has commented that although disappointed to hear that Burn This will not be proceeding, they will soon announce a new production to launch the beautiful Hudson Theatre in 2017.” Ambassador, a major London theater owner, recently expanded into the New York market with takeovers of the Lyric, in Times Square, one of Broadway’s biggest theaters and currently home to Cirque Du Soleil’s Paramour, and the smaller Hudson.
Burn This opened on Broadway in 1987 with John Malkovich and Joan Allen starring, earning Allen the Tony for playing Anna, a dancer-choreographer who meets her recently deceased dance partner’s older brother, played by Malkovich with appropriately incendiary fervor. It ran seven previews and 437 performances.