Wednesday, April 17, 2024

“Funny Girl” Cancelled: Broadway, Soap Operas Affected by Bad Economy


The economy is bad, and maybe worse than we thought. On Thursday evening, the producers of the revival of “Funny Girl” on Broadway–set for this winter–announced they were aborting plans. They simply cannot raise the required $12 million, a high price for a revival. Lauren Ambrose and Bobby Cannavale were set to star as Fanny Brice and Nicky Arnstein. The show would have opened on April 12th, and it would have been a big deal for the Tony Awards in June. It may happen in 2013, but who knows?

Meantime, Peter Kafka reports in All Things Digital that Jeff Kwatinetz of Prospect Park Productions doesn’t really have the dough to put “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” on the internet as planned. This is not a surprise, but it is a shame. ABC was wrong headed to dump the shows, and replace them with junk like “The Chew.” (Same for CBS and “The Talk.”) There was a glimmer of hope that Prospect Park could pull this off. But apparently Kwatinetz has not been able to convince regular Hollywood investors to cough up the funds. So he’s turning to Silicon Valley. Let’s hope it works.

Prospect Park has announced more cast signings for “One Life” but very few for “All My Children.” Money is obviously at the root of everything here. Susan Lucci and “One Life” stars Robin Strasser, Bob Woods, and Hilary Smith don’t have deals–they would be expensive. Most of the actors signed so far are the less pricey ones. Kwatinetz is going to have problems if he can’t sign the heavy hitters. He’s no doubt hyper aware of this. But Strasser keeps Tweeting that she has no offer–maybe not realizing that Kwatinetz has no money.

No one wants to be a downer, but it’s always the economy that affects everything. New York City restaurants look a lot quieter a lot earlier at night lately. I walked past the much ballyhooed Lion on Thursday night. They still have the obnoxious guy at the door, waiting to interrogate potential customers. The only problem is, the place didn’t look very full. Soon that guy will be wearing a sandwich board out front.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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