Tuesday, February 26, 2008

No Exaggeration: Dead To Depart Broadway

No Exag-geration: Dead To Depart Broadway

Promotions of Is He Dead?'s Broadway death had been an exaggeration. Adverts touted "last weeks" for Mark Twain 's long lost comedy for, well, weeks.

But today, official news came that the generally well-reviewed show would close at Rialto's Lyceum Theatre on March 9 after just 105 performances.

Adapted by David Ives and directed by Michael Blakemore, Is He Dead? had a deliriously delightful cast, including Norbert Leo Butz, Michael McGrath, Tom Alan Robbins, Jeremy Bobb, John McMartin, Jenn Gambatese, Byron Jennings and the hysterically funny David Pittu.

When I caught the show on its opening night (OK, it was really an afternoon), I laughed out loud early and often. It's a shame the show never could find its audience. Last week, the comedy's average ticket price was a mere $46.83 -- with a capacity of only 53%, it's no wonder that with a total box office take of $182,931, the show finally posted its closing notices despite its best attempts to raise from the dead.

If you haven't seen this show yet and are desperately in need of a good solid laugh, go see it now!

Update (February 26, 10:45 p.m. EST): Late word this evening that the acclaimed London transfer of Macbeth will be taking Is He Dead?'s Lyceum berth beginning at the end of March for a limited eight week run.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

Click here for tickets.
Related Stories:
This Goes Out To All The Lovers (Of Theatre) (February 14, 2008)
Show Deals: Breaking The Code (February 10, 2008)
Is He Dead? Not Even Close Among Critics (December 10, 2007)
Is He Dead? (The SOB Review) (December 10, 2007)
Resurrected Is He Dead? Opens (December 9, 2007)
Discounted Is He Dead? Is Alive Again On Broadway (December 1, 2007)
All Of Great White Way Gleams Tonight (November 29, 2007)
Never Say Never The Twain Shall Meet (August 1, 2007)

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At 27 February, 2008, Blogger Alicia said...

Why on EARTH do there have to be so many shows that I want to see and not enough time or money to see them all? Aaaargh!!!

I love Norbert and I'm sorry that I will probably miss this one but Patrick Stewart in MACBETH is a pretty palatable new tenant.

At 27 February, 2008, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Alicia, I know what you mean!

It dawned on me this morning that while Norbert had been a likely contender for a Best Actor in a Play Tony, Patrick Stewart's Macbeth may very well knock him out of contention. Wouldn't that be ironic?

At 27 February, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Butz is familiar to those who follow NY theater. He may not be familiar to the out-of-towners who often gravitate to the spectacles, award winning shows and others that feature "big name film" talent. That's really too bad for all.
Now, did the Shubert Organization put any pressure on the producers of "Is He Dead" to close their show to make way for "Macbeth" given the illustrious star and potentially a more lucrative box office at one of its theaters...though reports have the Shubert Organization not being a favorite of Stewart?
Sadly, I will not get to see this show either.......

At 27 February, 2008, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Anonymous, I don't know. Butz did win a Tony for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, was in the original cast of Wicked and The Last Five Years, both of which have cult followings of varying degrees, and he was celebrated nationally as he toured like a trouper in Sam Mendes' Cabaret. He's arguable better known than many castmembers of better attended shows.


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