UPDATE JUNE 14TH: I wrote the following piece last Saturday. Now comes word that “After Midnight” will shutter on June 29th. What a shame, what a great show. Patti Labelle was guest starring this week. Gladys Knight and Natalie Cole were scheduled for this summer, and appeared on the Tonys to promote it. Broadway is a cruel place sometimes.
JUNE 7: Tomorrow, Sunday, the Tony Awards at 8pm on CBS: you will see lots of great stuff from this season, and some teases for the fall season and beyond including Sting’s important new musical “The Last Ship” and the musical stage version of the hit film “Finding Neverland.”
Radio City will be filled with the music of the Brill Building, the clever invention of “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” and Woody Allen’s breezy “Bullets Over Broadway.”
But a lot of shows will start shutting down right after the Tonys. By August 1st, the theater district is going to full of empty theaters.
“Of Mice and Men” closes July 27th. They’re already deep discounting tickets. Bryan Cranston in “All the Way” will wrap up as expected, as well as the all-star “A Raisin in the Sun.” “Casa Valentina” is a limited run, so its slight showing won’t matter.
A number of older shows, though, may call it a day. First of all, “Rocky” is not long for this world. They played at 63% last week. Without major Tonys, “Rocky” may be knocked out by Labor Day.
The dreadful “If/Then” is also starting to fray. After huge initial numbers, the grinding, shrieking Idina Menzel showcase is at 84%. Again, no Tonys means it will be harder to sustain.
Tyne Daly in “Mothers and Sons” will exit right after the Tonys. Last week the show took in just under $160,000. Soon the actors will have to pay the audience. A valiant effort, but to no avail.
Older shows “Rock of Ages” and “Once” are on the ropes. Newer shows “Violet” and “The Realistic Jones” are in peril. And if the producers of “Pippin” don’t do something, they too could be in trouble. I hope not. But they need a marketing plan, tout suite.
Broadway is not for the faint of heart when it comes to producing a show. But the good news is, new shows are always around the corner– or trying out in another city. Barry Levinson and Sheryl Crow’s long-awaited “Diner” is finally going to do a run in Arlington, Virginia this fall. If it sticks this time, we may see it in the spring.