Travesties concludes at the end of this week with a critically acclaimed run, but no Tony Awards, and having been a difficult sell at the box office.
Roundabout Theatre Company Production Wraps Up
At the end of this week, on June 17, 2018, Travesties will play its final performance in the currently running revival production at the American Airlines Theatre. Produced by Roundabout Theatre Company, in association with the London producers who originated the production, Menier Chocolate Factory and Sonia Friedman, Travesties is directed by Patrick Marber, in a production with original music by Adam Cork. The story centers on a Henry Carr, who reminisces on his life in Zurich during World War I, interacting with James Joyce while he was writing Ulysses, Tristan Tzara during the rise of the Dada movement, and Lenin during the Russian Revolution. The cast of this production is led by Tom Hollander (The Judas Kiss) as Henry Carr, who traveled across the pond from London with the production. The rest of the cast includes Peter McDonald as James Joyce, Seth Numrich as Tristan Tzara, Opal Alladin as Nadya, Dan Butler as Lenin, Patrick Kerr as Bennett, Scarlett Strallen as Gwendolen, and Sara Topham as Cecily. Travesties is a 1974 play by Tom Stoppard, the revered British playwright whose others works include Arcadia, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, The Real Thing, Rock ‘n’ Roll, The Coast of Utopia, Jumpers, The Invention of Love, The Real Inspector Hound, and The Fifteen Minute Hamlet.
Magnificent Reviews But No Tony Awards
When the show opened on April 24, 2018, it earned a slew of excellent reviews. Ben Brantley from The New York Times called it “exultant” and a “show of rollicking intellect and silly stagecraft, which has been deliciously directed by Patrick Marber.” Marilyn Stasio from Variety remarked that “this extravagant farce bristles with clever wordplay,” and that “underneath the gem-like brilliance of its theatrical style, the play’s dark subject matter emerges.” Greg Evans from Deadline praised the play with “its ideas on art, war, patriotism and purposeful nonsense fashioned into a nonstop tourney of wit and erudition,” and Leah Greenblatt from Entertainment Weekly called it “a giddy, head-spinning triumph,” praising Patrick Marber’s direction that “keeps Stoppard’s verbal ballet moving briskly, occasionally slowing the action down just enough to let the narrative (and the audience) breathe.” Frank Scheck from the Hollywood Reporter loved the “simultaneously wacky and intellectual” play and “the accessible nature of director Patrick Marber's rollickingly staged production.” With such a strong critical response, it is not surprising that the show received some recognition from the Tony nominating committee. It was nominated for 4 Tony Awards, but did not win any. It was nominated for the award for Best Revival of a Play, which went to Angels in America, the award for Best Leading Actor in a Play for Tom Hollander, which went to Andrew Garfield for Angels in America, the award for Best Direction of a Play for Patrick Marber, which went to John Tiffany for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and the award for Sound Design in a Play for Adam Cork, which went to Gareth Fry for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
Box Office Far from a Sell-Out
Over the weeks of reported box office figures thus far, which include all but the final week of performances, Travesties has brought in an average of 56.32% of its gross potential. With an average top ticket price of $221.64, the average paid admission across the run was $77.53, and the average audience capacity has been 82.06%. As such, the show has been playing to audiences with room for growth, both in terms of their numbers and their ticket prices. In any case, over 50,000 people will have had the chance to see this marvelous production in New York by the time the run is through, which in itself is certainly a victory.