Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Broadway: “Joneses” is a Bust, “Bridges” Burning, “Mother” Failing, “If/Then” Iffy


Broadway was not hot last week. It was cold, as a nasty breeze whipped through Shubert Alley. “The Realistic Joneses” finally opened last night to pretty bad reviews. Only the Times sort of liked it, but didn’t recommend it. Let’s be realistic: it’s 90 minutes and every review says it has moments but no one likes it.

I don’t know, because I didn’t see it. Unable to receive a press ticket, instead I went backstage after the Saturday matinee and said hello to Marisa Tomei. She’s a star, and a delight. The rest of the cast, as well as Marisa, is said to be very engaging. Why not? Toni Colette, Michael C. Hall and Tracey Letts are all terrific actors. But their box office was down 6% from last week.

Another Jeffrey Richards production, “The Bridges of Madison County,” is teetering. They were down 2.6% from the week before, playing at 57.7% capacity. Audiences are still trying to find the bridge on stage. (Squint.) “Bridges” may be looking for an exit soon.

“Mothers and Sons” with Tyne Daly, a play that doesn’t make a lot of sense, is playing at 50% capacity. Also a 90 minute one acter, it should be playing off Broadway with the “Joneses.”

And even “If/Then” took a tumble last week. They were down 7.2% after their opening, which means people read the reviews. The big Idina Menzel tsunami may be subsiding as reality sets in. They still did over $900K last week, so producers may sing along to “What the F—?” Stay tuned…

The best play of the year is at St. Ann’s Warehouse. “Red Velvet” is a knockout. It only plays until April 20th, so hurry. If only it were on Broadway.

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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