The Broadway community got a rather stunning announcement today when news came out that the revival of Brighton Beach Memoirs, which just opened less than a week ago, will close tomorrow, Sunday, November 1st. This means that not only will that show be shuttering, but its sister production, Broadway Bound, won’t be opening at all. The two Neil Simon plays, both about Simon’s alter ego Eugene Morris Jerome at different stages in his life, were going to play in rep at the Nederlander Theatre. The reason for the unusually quick closing of Brighton Beach Memoirs, which stars Laurie Metcalf (Roseanne) and newcomer Noah Robbins, is simple: lack of ticket sales. In a season of dramas featuring big name stars (e.g. A Steady Rain starring Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig, Jude Law’s Hamlet), these two old-fashioned plays just couldn’t drum up enough public interest. Forty years ago, that would have been unthinkable, as Neil Simon’s name was a colossal draw at the Broadway box office, but his plays – new or old – simply don’t bring in the crowds the way they used to.
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