Barry Manilow musical Copacabana will finish its current five-month UK-wide tour this weekend, three months earlier than planned. The revival opened on 10 June 2003 at Birmingham's Alexandra Theatre and was on course to visit ten further venues, concluding its schedule at Manchester Opera House on 1 November (See News, 4 Jun 2003). It will now close after the evening performance at the Bristol Hippodrome this Saturday 26 July 2003.

In a press statement from Anthony Williams Productions, lower than expected box office figures at all remaining venues, with the exception of Cardiff's New Theatre, were blamed for the cancellation of the tour.

Williams, who also directed the production, said: "I am devastated to have to cancel our tour of Copacabana. The production is in top form, but the tickets that our audiences are buying are simply not covering the costs of running the production. Clear Channel Entertainment, which runs ten of the venues the tour was visiting, has helped us enormously over the past weeks, and with the support of the Ambassadors Theatre Group, which runs three of the venues we were visiting, and good sales at Cardiff's New Theatre, I was hoping our excellent company of actors, dancers and stage crew would be employed through to the end of the tour. Unfortunately, this is not the case."

In Copacabana, a young songwriter has got a great tune but no lyrics, so he invents the character of Lola Lamar, a country lass from Tulsa who arrives in the Big Apple to search for fame as a showgirl. Lola is subject to all manner of adventures in the swinging 1940s nightclub scene.

Co-authored by Manilow, Bruce Sussman and Jack Feldman, Copacabana was first seen as a made-for-TV movie musical in the US in 1985, when Manilow himself starred as Lola's lover Tony. Following a shorter stage rendition in Las Vegas, it premiered as a full-length stage musical in 1994, running for more than a year at the West End's Prince of Wales Theatre, preceded and followed by UK regional tours.

- by Terri Paddock