Thursday, May 23, 2024

Broadway Summer Turns Nasty as “The Cher Show,” “King Kong,” “The Prom” Join Several Other Big Ticket Shows Unable to Make It


Summer can be cruel on Broadway — especially if there are no Tony Awards in mid June for shows that are suffering at the box office.

First up is “The Cher Show,” which struggled all winter and spring. Receipts were never great. At one point Cher herself went on the promo war path. She gave Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show a full hour. Nothing worked. “The Cher Show” will close in mid August. It will resurface one day in a slimmed down version where it belongs, in Las Vegas.

Also closing is “King Kong,” which cost millions, was dreadful, got no love from the Tonys and was slated to be captured and killed. Putting “King Kong” out of its misery is the sensible and humane thing to do.

Already announced closing is “The Prom,” a little musical that tried so hard. Ryan Murphy is making a film of it for Netflix, reportedly with Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, and James Corden.  I feel bad for the Tony-nominated cast including Beth Leavel. They will be swept away by big movie stars.

Gone in the last couple of weeks are all the Scott Rudin produced plays: “King Lear,” “Gary,” and “Hillary and Clinton.”

The Tony winning play “The Ferryman” is set to shut down soon. So is “Be More Chill,” another unloved musical from this season.

The scorecard for the 2018-19 season is pretty bad, overall. “My Fair Lady” at Lincoln Center will also take its final bow shortly.

Strangely enough, two holdovers are doing all right despite less than enthusiastic notices. “Pretty Woman” is coming up on its one year anniversary. And “Mean Girls” seems to be holding its own although I doubt many New York theatregoers realize it’s still playing from last season. Both shows are based on movies with big followings.



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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