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Dancap unsure about mounting Neil Simon musical Add to ...

Toronto's Dancap Productions is exploring the possibility of remounting the Neil Simon/Marvin Hamlisch/Carole Bayer Sager musical They're Playing Our Song .

Under the direction of Kathleen Marshall, best know for Grease and The Pajama Game , Dancap organized a full industry reading of the show last month in New York.

A spokeswoman for Dancap yesterday confirmed that the workshop had taken place, but insisted that there were no formal plans to stage the 1978 musical, either in Toronto or New York.

"It's the sort of thing Dancap is doing all the time, just standard procedure," the spokeswoman said.

The show, loosely based on the real-life romance of composer Hamlisch and lyricist Bayer Sager, opened on Broadway in February, 1979, with Robert Klein and Lucie Arnaz in the leading roles. It played 1,082 performances.

One issue hanging over any possible production is that playwright Simon's commercial drawing power seems to be in decline.

An eight-week remount last summer of They're Playing Our Song at the Menier Chocolate Factory on London's South Bank - with recent U.K. Sound of Music star Connie Fisher - failed to interest producers in a transfer to the West End.

And a remount of Simon's play Brighton Beach Memoirs closed Sunday in New York after playing just a single week - making it one of the major flops in recent history. His companion play, Broadway Bound , scheduled to open next month and play in repertory, was cancelled outright.

Simon, 82, told The New York Times he was "dumbfounded" by the early close. "After all these years, I still don't get how Broadway works or what to make of our culture."

Dancap's New York workshop starred current Mary Poppins star Christian Borle and Sherie Rene Scott ( Dirty Rotten Scoundrels ).

 

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