The current Broadway production of The Miracle Worker, playing at the Circle in the Square Theatre, has announced that it will be ending its run in just one week from today, with a closing date of April 4. The William Gibson play is well-known and loved (especially due to the classic film version starring Patty Duke and Anne Bancroft), and the Broadway revival has a host of recognizable names in the cast (including Little Miss Sunshine star Abigail Breslin as Helen Keller, and Matthew Modine and House‘s Jennifer Morrison as her parents). But all of that was not enough to keep the show, which has been having trouble selling tickets for most of its run, afloat any longer. Rumors that the open-ended production might shutter early started several weeks ago, and they were apparently overwhelming enough that The Miracle Worker‘s producers actually went so far as to issue a press release in early March stating that they intended to stay open despite the poor ticket sales. It appears that the money has now run out, though, and the miracle needed to keep this show on Broadway has not materialized.
William Gibson’s dramatic masterpiece tells the true story of how Annie Sullivan (Alison Pill) finally taught deaf-and-blind girl Helen Keller (Little Miss Sunshine‘s Abigail Breslin) how to communicate with the outside world.
With vital lessons about perseverance, the importance of communication, and learning to see beyond disability, this timeless story is great for students, families, and people of all ages. Breslin, an articulate young actress, has the challenge of taking on a role in which she can only communicate through action and grunting, and she does a wonderful job. She is effectively the antagonist though, as this is really Sullivan’s story, and the always-excellent Pill (reasons to be pretty, The Lieutenant of Inishmore) is perfect as the determined teacher, herself once a stubborn little girl yearning to see.
A new production of William Gibson’s wonderful play The Miracle Worker is bound for Broadway in February 2010. Young film actress Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine, Signs, and the new release Zombieland) will play Helen Keller in this production alongside New York theater regular Alison Pill (Mauritius and The Lieutenant of Inishmore on Broadway) as her determined teacher Annie Sullivan. The production, under the direction of Ruined helmer Kate Whoriskey, will play at the Circle in the Square Theatre. A 2003 production of The Miracle Worker starring Hilary Swank was supposed to come to Broadway following its run in Charlotte, but that engagement fell through. The drama is of course well known to movie audiences everywhere because of the fine film version starring Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke, who both starred in the original Broadway production.
William Gibson, the writer best known for The Miracle Worker, has passed away at the age of 94. Gibson also penned the Broadway plays Two for the Seesaw and the recent hit Golda’s Balcony.