Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Broadway: “The Book of Mormon,” with Sinking Ticket Sales Pre-Pandemic, Returns without Producer Scott Rudin


Before the pandemic I was chronicling the sinking ticket sales of “The Book of Mormon” on Broadway.

After 11 years, the irreverent musical from the creators of “South Park” was in danger of closing. Sales were way off, there were plenty of empty seats, and the average high ticket price had dropped from around $800 to $168.

Then came the pandemic, and the more recent ouster of producer Scott Rudin over his toxic and violent behavior to employees. He’s also just not a nice guy in the most profound ways.

Rudin said he would “step back” from his productions, but basically he’s got a lot of stalking horses doing his bidding while he uses a remote control.

Now “Mormon” is returning to performances on November 5th. In a statement, authors Trey Parker, Matt Stone and Robert Lopez said, “When Broadway shut down, so many amazing and talented people were put out of work, many of whom had become family to us. As writers and as fans we are so ready for the “Great Broadway Comeback” and are so glad that our show can be a part of it. Can’t wait to be back with the entire team and our wonderful cast, crew, and orchestra.”

Since “Mormon” went on hiatus a lot of things have changed besides health regulations. Black Lives Matter rose in prominence, the cancel culture took hold, political correctness became paramount. “The Book of Mormon” might have trouble re-opening in that atmosphere. The show is very offensive in the best ways possible. Every laugh, even about “raping babies,” is such a shock that it’s a relief. I have a feeling “Mormon” may be more popular now that the audience is so exhausted by righteousness.

We’ll see what the response is when ticket sales resume on June 28th.


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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