In the face of rapturous reviews for Jon Robin Baitz’s Other Desert Cities, the rumor mill heated up about a possible Broadway transfer of Lincoln Center Theater’s world premiere off-Broadway production. But according to Shubert Organization chairman Philip Smith, there’s no place for the play to go before the end of the spring 2011 season. “The reality is, this is the third year when we’ve had more shows than theaters,” Smith told The New York Times, adding of Other Desert Cities, “I have them on the list. Who knows, maybe something will open in the spring. But right now we’re full.”
In response, Lincoln Center Theater issued a statement saying, “It is our intention to move the show to Broadway in the fall as there are no theaters available this spring.” LCT added that it is unaware of scheduling issues with the critically praised cast of Stockard Channing, Stacy Keach, Linda Lavin, Elizabeth Marvel and Thomas Sadoski. Joe Mantello’s production of Other Desert Cities opened at the Mitzi Newhouse Theater on January 13. No closing date for the off-Broadway production has been announced.
Speaking to Broadway.com the day before LCT made its announcement about a fall transfer, Stockard Channing said, “We’re hoping we can continue in some form or other, but it remains to be seen how that’s going to be achieved. There seems to be no [Broadway] theaters to be had at this moment. But we’d all like to do it.” [A full Q&A with Channing will appear on January 24.]
Interestingly, Channing has appeared in two previous productions that opened at the Newhouse and then moved upstairs to its Broadway-sized twin, the Vivian Beaumont Theater: The House of Blue Leaves and Six Degrees of Separation. An in-house transfer is not possible this spring because of LCT's forthcoming production of the hit London drama War Horse, which begins previews at the Beaumont on March 15.