January has always been an important month for Broadway shows. While it marks a joyous time that people have once again survived the holiday season, it also marks the death of many theatre productions. With producers no longer being able to count on holiday tourists to fill seats, many shows find themselves dimming their stages.
Closing tonight, January 2, proves to be the most popular closing date of the month. Fela!, Promise, Promises, West Side Story, and the only recently opened Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson shutter. The limited engagements Brief Encounter, Elf, and The Pee-Wee Herman Show also close tonight. Special notice should go to the limited engagement musical Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown closing tonight, ahead of its original January 23 closing date.
This marks a break in closing until January 9 when A Little Night Music, In the Heights, Rock of Ages and A Free Man of Color will also follow the previously mentioned shows. This date also marks the premature closing of La Bête, which was originally intended to close on February 12. The show, which will have played under 100 performances since opening in October, did moderately better than its original run in the early 1990s… which played twenty-five.
This marks another cooling in closings until January 16 when the Pulitzer Prize winning musical Next to Normal stops performances, closely followed by Time Stands Still on Janurary 30.
If nothing else, all of these closings should serve as a reminder that more great things are slated to open this season… and then promptly close next January.