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An Opening For Some Song and Dance

(Patrick Healy, The New York Times) Wanted: Singing, dancing, comedy, romance and, most of all, original music. When: By the end of April. Where: A Broadway theater, if available (a big if).

The slate of new musicals announced for Broadway this season is distinctly thin, so much so that “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” — long the butt of jokes for its cast injuries and $75 million budget — has a decent shot at a Tony Award nomination for best musical next spring. So much so that several producers are now hustling to bring in musicals from Off Broadway or regional theaters. Producers of at least three such shows — “Newsies the Musical,” “Once” and “The Toxic Avenger” — are each in discussions with Broadway theater owners about opening before the Tony eligibility cutoff date in late April.

“It’s the sort of season where we can be a dark-horse show, sneak in at the last minute and get a Tony nomination that would be a big help selling tickets and licensing the show around the country,” said Joe DiPietro, the book writer and lyricist for “Toxic Avenger,” an Off Broadway hit two years ago that is being mounted in Houston this winter with the hope of a quick move to Broadway. (He should know what he’s talking about; his last show, “Memphis,” won best musical two years ago.)

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