Spamalot won’t be the only Broadway musical to close on January 18. It has just been announced that Spring Awakening will also take its final Broadway bow that day. Hairspray, too, will shut its doors at the beginning of the year, closing on January 4. Seeing such significant Broadway shows – all Tony-winning musicals, all having enjoyed a lot of box office success – go down all at once is dispiriting. It’s not a very good sign for the health of Broadway. That said, the truth is that all of these shows have had less than impressive ticket sales for awhile now, so it isn’t a huge surprise. To get discount tickets to these shows while they’re still on Broadway, click here.
The Broadway production of Legally Blonde closes at the Palace Theatre on Broadway today. The ‘girl power’ musical, based on the Reese Witherspoon movie of the same name, will have played 595 regular Broadway performances when it ends its run this afternoon. Legally Blonde is survived by a national tour that is still scheduled to play through autumn 2009.
Monty Python’s Spamalot has announced that it will be closing on Broadway on January 18, 2009. The Tony-winner was a sensation when it opened at the Shubert Theatre in early 2005, but ticket sales have steadily declined since the show’s second year on Broadway. The Broadway musical will have played over 1,500 Broadway performances when it closes in January.
The 39 Steps is moving house again. The Broadway comedy loosely based on Hitchcock’s film of the same name will depart from the Cort Theatre on January 11, 2009 and re-open at the Helen Hayes Theatre on January 20. Will Ferrell’s solo show will be taking its place at the Cort.
Actor/comedian Will Ferrell, who first gained fame as a Saturday Night Live regular, will make his Broadway debut on January 20, 2009 in the solo show You’re Welcome America – A Final Night with George W. Bush. The show will be directed by Adam McKay, Ferrell’s frequent collaborator, who directed the funny man in movies Anchorman and Talladega Nights. You’re Welcome America is expected to play a limited engagement through March 15.
To Be Or Not To Be, the latest production of the Manhattan Theatre Club, officially opens on Broadway tonight. It is MTC’s first Broadway show since re-naming their Broadway home the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (formerly known as the Biltmore). To Be Or Not To Be, written by Nick Whitby and based on the film of the same name, has been through quite a bit of turmoil in the lead-up to its Broadway opening. Two of the play’s lead actors, Craig Bierko and Brian Murray, dropped out during the rehearsal process, and word on the street is that the self-proclaimed dark comedy wasn’t funny enough. It will be interesting to see the critics weigh in after tonight’s opening.
Last chance alert! The new Broadway musical [title of show] has its final performance at the Lyceum Theatre on Sunday, October 12. The witty little show about two guys trying to write a Broadway musical didn’t have a long life on Broadway, but it did have a passionate fan base and will hopefully continue to have a life beyond Broadway.
Bailey Hanks, the talented young lady who made her Broadway debut in Legally Blonde thanks to the MTV reality show “The Search For Elle Woods,” had the misfortune to learn that her Broadway run would end not long after it began, due to Blonde‘s impending closure on October 19. However, Bailey will bounce back quickly – not to Broadway this time, but to New Jersey. She will be playing Sharpay in the upcoming Paper Mill Playhouse production of that teenybopper sensation, High School Musical, opening in early November.
The new musical 13, about teenagers and starring teenagers, opened this afternoon on Broadway at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre. The bright, fun musical is about Evan, a New York City boy who tries to win over the popular kids when he’s forced to move with his mom to Indiana. 13‘s book is by Dan Elish and Robert Horn, with music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown (whose Broadway credits include Parade and Urban Cowboy).
Slava’s Snowshow, the wintry clown show that played Off-Broadway’s Union Square Theatre for a lengthy run, is coming to Broadway for the holiday season. Slava’s Snowshow will play Broadway’s smallest theater, the Helen Hayes, from mid-November to early January. For what is essentially an Off-Broadway show to do a limited Broadway engagement like this is somewhat unusual, but lately limited holiday-themed shows have done well on Broadway. How the Grinch Stole Christmas played short Broadway engagements the last couple years, and this winter we have Irving Berlin’s White Christmas on the Great White Way. With its crowd-pleasing blizzard finale, Slava’s Snowshow will add to the festive atmosphere on Broadway.