Producers of 'Nick & Nora' seen as victims of economy

November 15, 1990|By Lou Cedrone | Lou Cedrone,Evening Sun Staff

The producers of ''Nick & Nora,'' the musical production that was to have played the Mechanic Theatre in March, were within $750,000 of the $5.5-million budget when they decided to postpone the project until next year.

''It was very disappointing,'' said Hope Quackenbush, managing director of the Mechanic. ''It was a good project.''

Quackenbush suspects that the trouble lies in the economy. ''There just isn't that much risk money out there,'' she said.

''Nick & Nora'' is based on Dashiell Hammett's ''The Thin Man'' and was to have starred Barry Bostwick and Joanna Gleason. Arthur Laurents did the book and Charles Strause (music) and Richard Maltby, Jr. (lyrics), the score.

''I suspect that part of the reason the show was postponed is that a show has got to make it to New York in time to qualify for the Tonys, and it looked as though 'Nick & Nora' wouldn't. You need those Tonys for a big musical.''

Quackenbush said the postponement was a little worrisome. ''I'm a little worried about the difficulties of mounting a show,'' she said. ''It's the downturn. Everybody runs for cover, and if negotiations drag on too long, you lose your talent. I suspect that the producers of 'Nick & Nora' will be getting back to us in the spring, but they'll need more complete funding when they do.''

According to Variety, ''Nick & Nora'' was in trouble in September. At the time, the producers needed $2.5 million before rehearsals could begin in late October.

The postponement of the project means Quackenbush and associates must come up with two more productions, one to replace ''Nick & Nora'' and another for May.

''We have yet to book the show for May,'' said Quackenbush, who added that the season, thus far, has been good.

''We did great business with 'Tru,' and 'Peter Pan' is completely sold out for the rest of its run.''

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