Musicals generally have to open in New York unless they have a huge star like Julie Andrews in "Victor/Victoria" where they can afford to tour out of town because they can draw audiences on the reputation and name of the star or of a pre-sold property. But otherwise, musicals either arise in regional theater and go to New York or tryout directly in New York. The road tryout is a thing of the past. The road is now for established musicals, not tryouts.
I don't know that plays can travel either. There are exceptions, but most plays in New York start either in regional theater, in England, or right in New York and open without going to Boston or New Haven.
Q: You were also saying that "The Doctor Is Out" has quite a complicated set that would make it difficult to travel?
A: It's not the kind of piece that you want to keep trying out. But I don't know. This is my first play. I told Jack O'Brien, "George is the experienced playwright. I'm the fledgling here."
It's nice to work on something that nobody knows you're working on, because they don't keep asking, "How's it going, how's it going?" I never told anybody I was working on ["The Doctor Is Out"]. Nobody knew. It really was just for fun.
\o7 "The Doctor Is Out: A Comedy Thriller" opens Saturday at the Old Globe Theatre, Balboa Park, San Diego. Shows are Tuesday-Sunday, 8 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 2 p.m. Through Oct. 21. Tickets: $20-$36. (619) 239-2255. Also, the West Coast premiere of a newly revised "Merrily We Roll Along" opens Thursday at L.A.'s East West Players, 4424 Santa Monica Blvd., Silver Lake. Shows are Thursday-Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday at 2 p.m. Through Nov. 5. Tickets: $25. (213) 660-0366.