Monday, May 20, 2024

Broadway: “Shuffle Along” Tony Awards Wipe Out Closed It, Not Audra McDonald’s Impending Exit


Now we know why Scott Rudin decided to close “Shuffle Along” in a hurry last week.

Box office figures for last week show a drop from the week before of $158,743.57.  That was the without a doubt the biggest drop of any show.

The drop came while Audra McDonald was still in the show– she’s in until July 24th with the exception of intermittent absences. So the sudden downturn in receipts wasn’t because she was leaving. It was because the show didn’t get any Tony awards.

From the week of May 8th — when Tony nominations were announced– through June 19th, a week after the Tonys were handed out to “Hamilton”– “Shuffle Along” averaged $950,000 a week. It wasn’t fantastic, and the show never broke the $1 million mark, but it was ok.

But immediately after the Tonys wiped them out, “Shuffle Along” dropped to $814,941.93. If the trend continued. “Shuffle Along” would be in dire straits by the time McDonald left.

As I’ve said before, I have a feeling that one day we’ll see a successfully re-tooled version of George C. Wolfe’s show, scaled down and rethought a la “Chicago” or “The Color Purple.”


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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