On the heels of the announcement that The Miracle Worker will be closing early comes the news that another Broadway show, All About Me, will be shuttering on the same date, April 4. All About Me, the Broadway comedy and music show starring Dame Edna Everage and singer/pianist Michael Feinstein, was scheduled to run until July, but inadequate reviews and low ticket sales prompted the producers to close the show only a few weeks into its run. Written by the show’s stars along with playwright Christopher Durang, and directed by Casey Nicholaw (Jerry Zaks was originally scheduled to direct, but pulled out in order to work on The Addams Family), All About Me had lackluster word-of-mouth early during previews, the general feeling being that the pairing of these two very different types of performers didn’t make much sense. Feinstein is known primarily as an interpreter of the American songbook, while Dame Edna is a larger-than-life personality with a wicked sense of humor. It’s possible that they both would have fared better if, as was originally reported in the publicity stunt pulled prior to their show’s official announcement, they had each gone solo on Broadway.
The revival of Finian’s Rainbow, starring Cheyenne Jackson and Kate Baldwin, closes at Broadway’s St. James Theatre today, in yet another of the seemingly endless series of Broadway show closings that have been happening this month. Although the colorful musical enjoyed a very warm reception from critics and fans of the old-style Broadway musicals, the show simply wasn’t able to find a large enough audience to stay open any longer. Also closing today at Studio 54 is the Roundabout Theatre Company’s limited-run production of writer/performer Carrie Fisher’s Hollywood tell-all, Wishful Drinking. The one-woman comedy by Star Wars‘s Princess Leia was originally scheduled to shutter at the beginning of this month, but was extended due to poplar demand.
As usual, today, the first Sunday after New Year’s, brings a rash of New York show closings. Some are the limited-engagement holiday shows (Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Cirque du Soleil’s Wintuk, and Irving Berlin’s White Christmas) that will no longer have an audience with Christmas come and gone. Other closings are struggling Broadway shows (Shrek the Musical and Superior Donuts) that could no longer afford their running costs because of low ticket sales. Meanwhile, Ragtime, a Broadway musical revival that was just recently scheduled for the January 3 chopping block, received a last-minute extension to January 10. If ticket sales increase, perhaps it could receive yet another reprieve before next Sunday. It was also just announced that the Broadway musical revival Finian’s Rainbow will be closing this month, on January 17.
As always, January is a brutal month for Broadway, which unfortunately gets a chilly reception from the ticket-buying public. The tourists have all gone home following the December holiday season, and locals are staying in the warmth of their homes as they recover from the financial blow dealt by all that Christmas and Chanukah merriment. Knowing this, Broadway producers frequently decide in advance that they will close their more monetarily troubled shows in early January. This year, those doomed Broadway shows include Burn the Floor and The 39 Steps (closing January 10), and Shrek the Musical and Superior Donuts (closing January 3). The limited-run shows In the Next Room and Irving Berlin’s White Christmas will also be shuttering in January. So if you have been dragging your feet on seeing any of these Broadway shows, be sure to get tickets while you can. Even these plays and musicals might not be discounting right over the Christmas holiday, but for most of them you can get good discounts on tickets for January performance dates.
This weekend is your final opportunity to see three shows that will be having their final bow on Sunday, July 29. One of them, 110 in the Shade, was a limited run, so the closing was scheduled. Grey Gardens opened on Broadway this past season, after transferring from Off-Broadway, but was unfortunately not able to sell enough tickets to keep going. Beauty and the Beast, on the other hand, has had a smash run of 13 years – it was the first of the Disney-on-Broadway musicals, and will be closing to make way for Disney’s latest, The Little Mermaid.
Rumors have been flying all weekend, but it was finally confirmed today that Grey Gardens will end its Broadway run on July 29. The announcement comes on the heels of a press release stating that the 29th would be Tony winner Mary Louise Wilson’s final performance in the musical, but now it appears that the show itself will have its final performance that day. The summer has been tough for Broadway, as it often is, but hopefully this will be the last unplanned closing for awhile.
There are tons of Broadway show closings coming up — some planned due to limited runs, others due to low attendance. LoveMusik and Talk Radio are signing off this Sunday, June 24. Radio Golf and Company end on July 1, Inherit the Wind blows away on July 8, and 110 in the Shade and Beauty & the Beast say goodbye on July 29. The star power of Angela Lansbury wasn’t enough to save Deuce, which will fold on August 19. But the latest big surprise is the announcement that Disney’s Broadway version of Tarzan swings out of the Richard Rodgers Theatre on July 8. Most of these shows are offering great discounts on tickets in their final weeks, so be on the lookout for deals.