Now is the annual culling of the Broadway herd, when a number of struggling shows inevitably close following the Christmas and New Year’s holiday spike. Spider-man ended its run yesterday, and today four more shows are playing their final performances and then closing their doors.
The Broadway revival of Annie enjoyed success after opening last season, but sales have gradually dwindled, making it no longer profitable to keep the show running. The charming new musical First Date (featuring Zachary Levi from TV’s Chuck) was one of the first Broadway shows to open this season, but it wasn’t able to hold on any longer with lackluster ticket sales.
The other two shows closing today, the Harold Pinter drama Betrayal (starring Daniel Craig) and Billy Crystal’s one-man play 700 Sundays, both did spectacularly well but are closing because they were only ever scheduled to play limited engagements.
Billy Crystal’s return production of 700 Sundays, which is playing for a limited time at the Imperial Theatre through January 5, has proved to be a major Broadway hit this season. But if you haven’t been able to score tickets to Crystal’s one-man show, you will be able to see it on HBO next year. On January 3 and 4, 700 Sundays will be taped to broadcast in 2014 on the premium cable network.
“Billy Crystal has been a beloved member of the HBO family for more than three decades,” stated president of HBO Programming, Michael Lombardo. “It’s thrilling to us that he decided to let us film this legendary theatrical event.”
700 Sundays, which originally played on Broadway several years ago (and won a 2005 Tony Award for Special Theatrical Event), is Billy Crystal’s dramatic memoir in which he talks about growing up in New York City and in particular the cherished Sundays that he spent with his dad.
Film, TV, and occasional stage star Billy Crystal is coming back to Broadway once again with his one-man play 700 Sundays. Crystal will appear in the limited-run arrival, directed by Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys), at the Imperial Theatre from November 5, 2013 until January 5, 2014.
Written by Billy Crystal and Alan Zweibel, 700 Sundays originally played on Broadway in 2004 and 2005. The award-winning play is the autobiographical tale of Crystal’s youth and emergence into adulthood and features him playing multiple characters.
“When we originally opened on Broadway, all I knew was that I had a story that I was compelled to share,” stated Billy Crystal about his experience with 700 Sundays. “Now that I’ve performed my play across the country and internationally, I’m gratified to know that the love of family, through joy and pain, is perhaps the most universal story. I’ve now decided to tell this story one last time in my own backyard, where it all took place.”