Sunday, April 21, 2024

Broadway Update: Kathie Lee Gifford’s “Scandalous” Musical Will Close Sunday


UPDATE: “Scandalous” will close on Sunday after all. Kathie Lee Gifford made a good effort, but the show was not good, and the audiences just weren’t there. See more below.

From Tuesday morning: The really not very good musical “Chaplin” has finally put up a closing notice for January 6th. How they made it this far is a mystery. “Scandalous” can’t be far behind. The Kathie Lee Gifford musical played at 37.6% capacity last week, taking in just over $370,000. Granted, the box office was up from prior weeks, but not remotely enough to keep going without tremendous problems.

I told you about the whole financial backing of “Scandalous” a couple of weeks ago: Then the New York Times, perhaps in an homage to this column, did the same thing. “Scandalous” is backed by money from the billionaire family that owns Christian right wing-pitched pyramid direct sales company Amway. Its other backer is the Foursquare Church founded by the musical’s subject, Aimee Semple McPherson.

There does seem to be a limited audience for “Scandalous,” which might have been better off pared down and playing in an off Broadway theater. At this rate een Amway reps won’t be able to keep it alive on the Great White Way. Expect a closing notice right after Christmas. A good try by Kathie Lee in the long run. And the Amway family, called Devos, won’t even miss the money. If only they’d included Milton Berle as a character. Now that would have been scandalous!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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