A Bleak January 2017 Ahead with the Closing of 12 Shows
By: Ellis Nassour
January is always a dark time for Broadway. Many shows survive by having pre-season sales to fill seats during cold, drab January and February. A dozen shows are biting the dust. In most cases, no sooner than they’re gone, new ones will come roaring into town.
Take a moment to pay respects to the fallen shows of late December 2016 and January 2017. Among those heading out of town are more than a few treasured ones.
Some were limited engagements that were planned to close in January, but it’ll be a sad goodbye to some long-running shows. Late this month and into January, we’ll see 12 shows bite the dust:
Tony-winning and Drama Desk-nominated The Color Purple revival (January
8), The Encounter (January 8), the Falsettos revival (January 8),
Tony and DD-nominated revival of Fiddler on the Roof (December 31), Holiday
Inn (January 15), Tony and DD-winning The Humans (January 15),
The Illusionists – Turn of the Century (January 1), Jersey Boys (January
15,after over 4,640 performances), Les Liaisons Dangereuses (January
8), DD-winning and Tony-nominated Mathilda (after over1,565performances),
Oh, Hello (January 22), and that hilarious gift to theater Tony and
DD-nominated Something Rotten (January 1). Barring an extension, one of the season’s biggest hits, the all-star revival of The Front Page, is set to close January 29.
It was an amazing and profitable season.
What a shame there’s no time capsule where these shows could be placed, so they
could rise again years later. The closest to that is the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts [where video capsules of most closing shows go
into the archives].
January 2016 was also a cruel month with closings of Allegiance, China Doll, and The Crucible, Dames at Sea, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, The Gin Game, Hand to God, King Charles III, the revivals of Spring Awakening and Sylvia, Therese
Raquin, and A View from the Bridge. There was some magic to do, with
the 2015 edition of The Illusionists – Live on Broadway materializing into a January blockbuster — capitalizing to a $8-million profit in only three weeks (64 performances).
January 2015, like January 2017, was exactly a happy start to the new year. It
saw the demise of Cinderella, The Last Ship, Motown, 2012’s Best
Musical Once, Pippin, The Real Thing revival, the Side Show, and This
Is Our Youth didn’t age well (133 performances).