Thursday, April 18, 2024

Broadway: “Bridges” May Be Burning, “Rocky” Getting Sucker Punched


The Tony Awards are on June 8th– which looks like a date far away in the future to some people on Broadway.

Two original musicals– “The Bridges of Madison County” and “Rocky”– are not having an easy time of it.

Of the two, “Bridges” looks like it’s in danger of collapsing well before the theater season is over. Last week, the musical, based on the book and movie of the same name, was down 13% from the prior week. The show is playing at 65% of its audience capacity, and took in just $385.5 K for the week.

I can’t say I’m surprised. Despite wonderful performances by Kelli O’Hara and Stephen Pasquale, “Bridges” is a hard go. The songs are tuneless, and there is no covered bridge on the stage. Plus, I’ll bet a lot of men in the audience didn’t care for the set up of the story. I was with the husband, played by Hunter Foster. He’s a nice attentive guy¬† and still his wife cheats on him. Basta!

“Rocky” is doing better than “Bridges,” but still it’s getting sucker punched. The musical based on the Oscar winning movie from Sylvester Stallone certainly has the physical production– like a boxing ring that moves. But last week “Rocky” was rocky after it’s big opening, down 3% and selling only 79.5% of its capacity, Like “Bridges,” the show is heavily discounted at TKTS and on websites.

This situation was not what brought last year’s “Kinky Boots,” “Matilda,” and “Pippin” in as hits.

Meantime, “Beautiful” and “After Midnight” are doing great, as is “Gentleman’s Guide,” as are “Aladdin,” “Bullets over Broadway,” and — this is an understatement–“If/Then,” when Adele Dazeem aka Idina Menzel, is printing money.

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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