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Topics: London, Theatre

Saturday, 19 November 2005

image for New Musical Based on the Life of John Wayne Gacy Closes After Only 22 Performances
Vietor as Gacy

London- It's been one disappointment after another for this fall's theatre season in London's West End. "In The Basement," the controversial new musical based on the life of serial killer John Wayne Gacy has closed after an engagement that lasted only three weeks.
The musical, which opened on October 30th at the Olympia Theatre, was from the minds of Alain Boubil and Claude-Michel Schonberg, the same people who created such smash hits as "Les Miserables" and "Miss Saigon" back in the 1980's.
Boasting an elaborate set (which included a recreation of Gacy's actual basement), a talented cast, and an interesting score, many believed that "In The Basement" would be a sure-fire smash and that it would eventually wind up on Broadway. However, most critics panned it which caused the crowds to stay away.
"We were quite certain this would be the musical of the new millennium," said producer Cameron Mackintosh. "Gacy's life is the stuff of wonderful entertainment. Oh well- you win some, you lose some, I guess."
Ed Vietor, who played Gacy is saddened, but optimistic about the sudden closing.
"I am rather shocked," said the twenty-eight year old star of London stage, "but I firmly believe that if Cameron decides to pull together a touring company of the musical, it will fare quite well in Germany, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, and beyond. Serial Killing is timeless and Gacy was the best of the best."
Michael Koch, the theatre critic for the Daily Telegraph. was perhaps the most vocally negative critic towards the show.
"In an era of violence and absurdity in the news," stated Koch, "who in their right mind would want to stage a musical based on the life of a serial killer? Cameron Mackintosh and company- that's who. Let's not forget that this is the same producer that brought us 'Starlight Express' twenty years ago. What's worse- a show on roller skates or a show about a homosexual serial killer? I'm not quite sure."
Ironically, just last week the original cast recording of "In The Basement" was released on CD. The recording is expected to do quite well because of pop sensation, Robbie Williams' recent cover of Gacy's heartwarming ballad, "Let's Make it 28 Downstairs Tonight."

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