'Brighton Beach Memoirs' closes after one week

Jessica Hecht and Laurie Metcalf are sisters in Jessica Hecht and Laurie Metcalf are sisters in Neil Simon's "Brighton Beach Memoirs." (Oct. 2, 2009) Photo Credit: Ari Mintz

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Neil Simon's "Brighton Beach Memoirs," one of the major attractions of the Broadway season, will close Sunday after a run of just one week. Slow ticket sales are being blamed. "Broadway Bound," scheduled to begin previews Nov. 18 and run in repertory as a two-play event, has been canceled.

The revival opened last Sunday to mixed reviews. Responding to the shocking news, producers Emanuel Azenberg and Ira Pittleman said Saturday in a statement: "A lot of nice people on stage and off will be out of work and a lot of good partners and investors will have lost a great deal of money. They all deserve better. It makes us sad."

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The revivals of Simon's semi-autobiographical '80s plays were staged by celebrated young director David Cromer whose interpretation of the Brooklyn family story was acclaimed for being darker than in the original serious comedies.

Laurie Metcalf was to play the mother of Eugene, narrator and Simon's alter-ego, in both plays. Newcomer Noah Robbins was the teenage Eugene in the first play, set in 1937. Josh Grisetti was to be Eugene as a young adult in the later work, set after World War II. "Broadway Bound" was already in rehearsals for an official opening Dec. 2.

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