Final Performance Scheduled for August 26, 2018
On March 9, 2017, The Play That Goes Wrong began previews at Broadway’s Lyceum Theatre, ahead of its opening night on April 2, 2017. An international hit that began in London, The Play That Goes Wrong is a comedy about an amateur production of a murder mystery that goes hopelessly awry. The play is written by Mischief Theatre Group members Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer, and Henry Shields, who also debuted in the Broadway cast following their run in London, and the production is directed by Mark Bell, and produced by J.J. Abrams and Kevin McCollum. Fortunately, the show will also be able to count the Broadway production among its successes. In the meantime, the show has been translated into multiple languages and licensed for productions in over 20 countries, including China, Poland, Hungary, Greece, Israel, Spain, France, Italy, Scandinavia, Iceland, Brazil, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Argentina, New Zealand, Uruguay, Turkey, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, the Philippines, and South Africa. The Broadway production received positive reviews, but was nominated for just one Tony Award, which it won: that for Best Scenic Design of a Play for Nigel Hook. Nevertheless, the show has had a long-lasting run. At the time of its closing on August 26, 2018, it will have played 585 regular performances, in addition to 27 preview performances. Still, this won’t be the end of the line for The Play That Goes Wrong in America. Shortly after the Broadway run concludes, a national tour will launch in September, commencing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The run will also include a five-week run at Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. Casting and a full itinerary for the national tour will be announced at a later time.
While The Play That Goes Wrong is a success story from the 2016-2017 season, which is still running a year later, another show which is newer this season has also announced its closing date. Children of a Lesser God began previews on March 22, 2018 at Studio 54, ahead of its opening night on April 11, 2018. Directed by Kenny Leon, this play by Mark Medoff stars Joshua Jackson and Lauren Ridloff. The play explores the relationship between a teacher at a school for the Deaf (Jackson), and Sarah Norman, the young woman he meets there (Ridloff), challenging misconceptions about communication and Deaf culture. The show won the 1980 Tony Award for Best Play, and this is the first Broadway revival. Despite a promising cast and creative team, including Tony winning director Kenny Leon (Fences), the show earned mixed to negative reviews. At the time the play began, it was scheduled for an open-ended run, and while actor schedules likely dictated a limited engagement to some extent, the producers also seemed to be waiting for the reviews, and failing that, the Tony nominations, to decide how long to prolong the run. With the disappointing review, the hope fell to the Tonys. Alas, Children of a Lesser God was nominated for just one Tony Award, that for newcomer actress Lauren Ridloff in the category of Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play. As such, the show has announced that it will close soon on May 27, 2018. At the time of its closing, Children of a Lesser God will have played just 54 regular performances, in addition to 23 preview performances. The show came to Broadway following a tryout run at the Berkshire Theatre Company. It is not yet clear if there will be any regional productions of this revival, but for now, the closing date is approaching at the end of next week.
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