amBroadway | ‘Perfect Crime’ halted due to burglary, leading wizard in ‘Harry Potter’ dismissed and more

Patrick Ryan Sullivan and Catherine Russell in “Perfect Crime.”

‘Perfect Crime’ halted by a perfect crime

It takes a lot to halt “Perfect Crime,” the long-running Off-Broadway murder mystery. In April 2020, it became the first show with an Equity cast to reopen Off-Broadway after the pandemic shutdown. Not only that, Catherine Russell (who has led the cast since 1987 and also serves as the general manager of the Theater Center) even sued the City and State of New York in an attempt to challenge lockdown restrictions and reopen sooner.

However, “Perfect Crime” came to a temporary pause over the weekend due to, ironically, a different kind of “perfect crime.” Unidentified thieves broke into the building at Broadway and 50th Street and stole its supply of copper pipes, cutting off the theater’s access to water and heat. Not only that, the culprits later returned and smashed the theater’s front doors, which was caught on a security camera. Performances of “The Office: A Musical Parody,” which also plays the same venue, have also been paused. 

According to Russell, the pipes and doors are currently in the process of being repaired, and performances are slated to resume on Thurs., Jan. 27. “We will be getting new and improved pipes; the owners have installed better locks and lots of extra security in the building,” Russell said in a statement. Russell, who is well-known in the industry for refusing to take a sick day or vacation day, added that the situation provided her with a rare opportunity to attend a Broadway show.

Harry Potter dismissed from ‘Harry Potter’

James Snyder, who originated the role of Harry Potter in the Broadway production of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” and returned to the show when it reopened on Broadway, has been formally dismissed from the production, as per an announcement made on Sunday.

According to the show’s producers, shortly after it reopened, cast member Diane Davis, who played Harry Potter’s wife Ginny, made a complaint alleging that Snyder engaged in misconduct. In response, Snyder was suspended from the production pending the results of a third-party investigation. Following the investigation, the producers terminated Snyder’s contract. Davis is currently on a leave of absence from the show. 

When “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” returned to Broadway following the shutdown, its format was changed from two parts running in repertory to a single show in an attempt to make it more commercially viable.

Remembering Meat Loaf’s return to the New York stage in ‘Bat Out of Hell’

Meat Loaf, who passed away last week at age 74, appeared on Broadway decades earlier in “Hair,” “The Rocky Horror Show,” and “Rockabye Hamlet.” However, Meat Loaf made a surprise appearance at a performance of  “Bat Out of Hell,” an over-the-top sci-fi musical featuring many of the Jim Steinman rock anthems and pop arias that Meat Loaf popularized on the “Bat Out of Hell” album trilogy. The show (which played a limited run at City Center in the pre-pandemic summer of 2019) was trippy, bewildering, and strangely entertaining. Meat Loaf attended a performance and sang an encore of “You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth” onstage with the cast. Perhaps a return engagement of the show could serve a tribute to both Meat Loaf and Steinman (who died a year ago at age 73).

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