Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Broadway: What Shows Are Closing?

Broadway: What Shows Are Closing?

Good thing I didn't make a bet to eat my Next Fall Playbill if it didn't post closing notices.

A couple days ago, I had predicted that due to its lackluster box office performance in the already tiny Helen Hayes Theatre coupled with no Tony wins that it would likely shutter soon. But its producers say, for now anyway, that it's their goal to remain open through summer.

UPDATE (June 23, 2010) - Next Fall has posted its closing notice for July 4.

So what shows are closing?

So far, none as a direct result of Sunday night's Tony Awards.

In fact, this year's Best Play Red announced just yesterday that its limited run would close as scheduled on June 27, which is really too bad because it offers those fortunate enough to see it two of the year's most magnificent stage performances (Alfred Molina and Eddie Redmayne). That is, unless you count those being offered over at the Cort Theatre for this year's Best Revival of a Play Fences with the two other stellar performances (Denzel Washington and particularly Viola Davis). Fences currently remains on schedule to close its limited engagement on July 11.

But here is the full list of Broadway shows currently scheduled to close:

June 27, 2010:

Hair - Al Hirschfeld Theatre

(SOB Review: *** out of ****)

On June 9, it was announced that the 2009 Tony Award-winning Best Revival of a Music otherwise known as "The American Tribal Love Rock Musical" would shutter on June 27, 2010, after 29 previews and 519 regular performances (over and above those Hair extensions in Central Park during the summer of 2008).

Most of this revival of Hair's original cast may be seen in London through September 4. Plus, a tour commences this October at the Shubert Performing Arts Center in New Haven, Connecticut.

Red - John Golden Theatre

(SOB Review: **** out of ****)

An import from London's Donmar Warehouse, this year's Tony Award-winning Best Play has only been scheduled for a very limited run. That engagement will conclude as scheduled on June 27, 2010. Red will have played 22 previews and 101 regular performances.

Look for John Logan's work to be mounted by regional theatres throughout the United States over the next couple years, albeit with different direction and casts.

Sondheim On Sondheim - Studio 54

(SOB Review: **1/2 out of ****)

This limited engagement initially was set to finish this past Sunday but was extended by two weeks. When it closes on June 27, 2010, this revue will have played 37 previews and 76 regular performances.

As for a life beyond? Unless there's a tour, which seems highly unlikely, it's hard to imagine regional mountings given how a major portion of the show incorporates Stephen Sondheim's own words via video. Plus, there are already several other Sondheim songbook revues out there.

July 11, 2010:

Everyday Rapture - American Airlines Theatre

(SOB Review: *** out of ****)

The last-minute, surprise hit run that managed to garner Tony nominations has always been a limited run and is scheduled to close on July 11, 2010. When it shutters, Everyday Rapture will have played 11 previews and 85 regular performances.

Although Sherie Rene Scott is portraying a semi-fictionalized version of herself, there's no reason why enterprising regional theatre companies couldn't pick up this show a la Hunter Bell and Jeff Bowen's semi-autobiographical [title of show]. Yet Scott herself seems to be keeping the door open to returning to her character for a tour, although "it wouldn't be for another year."

Fences - Cort Theatre

(SOB Review: ***1/2 out of ****)

Director Kenny Leon's camp at this year's Tony-winning Best Revival of a Play has been so silent over the past few days that you can't help but wonder if they're secretly working toward extending their limited run past July 11, 2010, which is nearly sold out. Or are they waiting to announce something else like a new cast and/or a tour?

If the show closes as scheduled, it will have enjoyed 13 previews and a mere 80 regular performances. But why do I have this hunch....

August 15, 2010:

Lend Me A Tenor - Music Box Theatre

(SOB Review: ***1/2 out of ****)

The single most hilarious Broadway show I saw all year was initially an open-ended run. But on May 21, a closing notice was posted for August 15, 2010, which marks the end-date for its ensemble's contracts. Tony-nominated for Best Revival of a Play, Lend Me A Tenor will have played 25 previews and 153 regular performances.

There's no word on any plans for this production beyond Broadway, but Ken Ludwig's farce is already regularly mounted by regional and community theatres.

August 21, 2010:

Race - Ethel Barrymore Theatre

(SOB Review: *1/2 out of ****)

Yesterday, Eddie Izzard, Dennis Haysbert and Afton C. Williamson join the cast of this David Mamet play as replacements for James Spader, David Alan Grier and Kerry Washington, respectively (Richard Thomas remains). Currently, the show is scheduled to close August 21, 2010, after 23 previews and 297 regular performances.

Although the show has already recouped its initial investment, don't be surprised to see it close earlier if the box office doesn't experience a bounce from its new cast.

August 22, 2010:

South Pacific - Vivian Beaumont Theatre

(SOB Review: ***1/2 out of ****)

On February 19, it was announced that this 2008 Tony Award-winning Best Revival of a Musical would close on August 22, 2010. But when it does, it will have played 37 previews and 1,000 regular performances. The show will go out with a bang as original cast member Kelli O'Hara returns August 10 and again appears opposite Tony-winner Paulo Szot (rumors that Matthew Morrison may also return remain just that -- rumors).

Earlier this year, I caught the South Pacific national tour and I can tell you that it is nearly as good in every way as the Broadway mounting; that tour will last through 2011. Additionally, when the closing notice was posted, it was also announced that there are plans to bring the production to London and Australia.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

In keeping with the new Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations that unfairly discriminate against bloggers, who are now required by law to disclose when they have received anything of value they might write about, please note that I have received nothing of value in exchange for this post.

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At 16 June, 2010, Blogger Linda said...

It's such a shame that Red was often on TKTS and pretty easy to get tickets to throughout it's run and after the Tonys, it's a hot ticket, but it only has a few weeks left of its run.

At 16 June, 2010, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

I agree. In some respects, I think Red was initially eclipsed by Fences, which not only opened about the same time, but also became the must-see event fueled by its star power.

At 16 June, 2010, Blogger Esther said...

It's a shame that if you watched the Tonys and wanted to see a winning performance in a play, you're almost out of luck. Some tourists who visit New York can only come in the summer.

At 17 June, 2010, Blogger Sarah B. Roberts said...

SOB, You seem disappointed that some shows aren't closing.

(I don't think too many "tourists" are going to plays as it is, Esther)

At 17 June, 2010, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

I'm not disappointed at all that shows are not closing. The longer any Broadway show can stay open (even if I didn't like it), the longer the actors and stagehands can remain employed.

My observation at the top is merely in reference to my Monday morning quarterbacking in which I had indicated that some shows could very well be in danger of closing due to poor box office. The show referenced above drew only 2,833 audience members last week - still the lowest attendance among all Broadway shows.

At 17 June, 2010, Blogger Esther said...

It's possible some tourists would have gone to see a play with Scarlett Johansson or Denzel Washington.

At 17 June, 2010, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Perhaps die-hard Broadway fans who come for many repeat visits are no longer considered tourists?


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