Broadway critics aimed their guns at "Legs Diamond," the long-awaited Peter Allen musical about the big-time New York mobster.
The negative reviews for the troubled show, which opened Monday at the Mark Hellinger Theater, included a scathing pan from The New York Times.But Glenna Freedman, press agent for the show, said producers had no immediate plans to close to $5.1 million show, the only musical of Broadway's meager fall season.
" `Legs Diamond' is a sobering interlude of minimum-security imprisonment that may inspire you to pull out a pen and attend to long-neglected tasks, like finishing last Sunday's crossword puzzle or balancing a checkbook," said Frank Rich, chief drama critic of The Times.
Rich who also slammed Allen, the Australian-born singer who stars in and wrote the music and lyrics for the musical: "If there's any mystery to `Legs Diamond,' it is the one attending Mr. Allen, not the gangster he purports to play. Here is a performer with a single expression - a pop-eyed, I-dare-you-not-to-love-me grin - and a harsh singing voice as taut as his face."
Michael Kuchwara of The Associated Press called the show "a musical in search of a leading man." He praised the score but found the book, written by Harvey Fierstein and Charles Suppon, "the skimpiest story this side of `Starlight Express.' "
Clive Barnes in the New York Post wondered, "Could it possibly be as bad as it seemed, indeed as people said? The good news is that it isn't. The bad news is that it isn't all that better either."
Howard Kissel in the New York Daily News said the musical "isn't even bad enought to laugh at. It's just dull."
Linda Winer of Newsday agreed.
She wrote that the show "has no charm, no wit, no heart and, most conspicuous of all, no point."
"Legs Diamond" had $10 million in advance ticket sales, but used up approximately half that amount during its previews. The producers, a group that includes the Nederlander theater organization and New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, said tickets are on sale into April.