Broadway run ends for 'Triumph of Love' Closing: Today marks the final performance of Marivaux-based musical that had its world premiere at Center Stage.

January 04, 1998|By J. Wynn Rousuck | J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC

"Triumph of Love" didn't get the miracle it hoped would save it. Today the curtain comes down for the last time on the Broadway musical, which made its world premiere at Center Stage last season.

Based on an 18th-century French romantic comedy by Marivaux, "Triumph of Love" will have run 83 regular performances and 31 previews.

It is one of three Broadway musicals -- along with "Side Show" and the revival of "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" -- expected to close this weekend, at the start of a traditionally slow month on Broadway.

"I certainly feel sad that it didn't run for years," said "Triumph of Love" producer Margo Lion.

"I'm certainly very regretful for my investors," she added, "but in terms of the quality of the show, it met all of my expectations and more, and I think it will have a long life in the canon. So I'm disappointed in its brief stay on Broadway, but I don't see this as the end."

In particular, Lion was referring to plans by Pace Theatrical Group to mount a scaled-down touring production, possibly as soon as next season.

The Baltimore-born producer said she thinks the positive reviews the Broadway production received from critics around the country -- in cities such as Cleveland; Orlando, Fla.; Pittsburgh; and Seattle -- bode well for the show's touring potential.

She also said she has completed negotiations for the stock and amateur performance rights and is still in negotiations to record a cast album.

The Broadway production had its origins as a nonmusical play, produced at Center Stage in 1993 and translated by the theater's resident dramaturg, James Magruder, who went on to write the musical's book.

Last week, "Triumph of Love" was named the best musical of the year by USA Today and was described as one of the brightest spots of the midseason by the New York Daily News.

In recent weeks, Betty Buckley, one of the musical's stars, had been making curtain speeches encouraging audiences to tell their friends about the show. In addition, a letter-writing campaign was started by her fans.

Lion said after Buckley's speech at last Sunday's matinee, a young man stood up in the balcony and yelled: "It's better than 'Les Miz' and no one dies at the end." The audience applauded him, but even such ardent enthusiasm was not enough to keep the show going.

Pub Date: 1/04/98

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