My Favorite Show is Closing? Already?

Written by Sydney • Edited By Sarah

My Favorite Show is Closing? Already?

Let’s talk staying power, shall we? What it means, where it came from, and why so many Broadway shows don’t possess it, allegedly.

We live in world of rapping presidents, rapping presidents, and rapping presidents. In case you live under a rock, Hamilton is and will remain the biggest show to hit Broadway since Wicked, probably, (#YayHamlet). However, while most of our money was being thrown at the Richard Rodgers many other shows got brushed under the rug.

This season we lost new shows:
American Psycho
Tuck Everlasting
Shuffle Along
Deaf West’s Spring Awakening (I know it was a limited run, that doesn’t mean a girl can’t be bitter)

As well as some long running favorites:
Finding Neverland
An American in Paris
Fun Home

If these shows are coming to an end, some fasters than others, why are theater goers still flocking to see the shows that have no end in sight? That’s where the idea of staying power comes into play. Many things possess it, types of music, movie genres, even things like pizza. What makes a musical appeal to the general public? Here are my five reasons:

1. Celebrity Cast Members:

We can see this clearly in many shows. Specifically, shows that may not do as well without a celebrity. In my favorite post-2016 Tony noms tweet, Jennifer Hudson backs me up on this one.

2. Word of Mouth

Okay, this is a no brainer. Everyone likes to be in the know. A phenomenon grows when it is heavily talked about. For a while even had a segment called “Word of Mouth” in which they got theatre goers to basically convince other theatre goers to see different shows. Hamilton, for example, is brilliant and it was also talked about, a lot (#YayHamlet).

3. Money

Another no brainer: some shows make more money than others. It’s sad, but it’s true. SUPPORT LIVE THEATRE, please!

4.The Tony Awards

If a show doesn’t get nominated for any Tonys, that likely means the end of that show is near. That doesn’t always mean that the shows nominated are safe either. If a show is nominated for even the biggest categories and loses, that show’s closing is likely to follow. This year Bright Star, one of the most masterful pieces of theater I’ve seen on the Great White Way was nominated for Best Musical, as well as Best Actress in a Musical. With a loss in both of these categories, the show closed shortly after the Tonys. Sometimes recognition on a large media platform is just not enough.

5. The General Public

As an avid theater fan for as long as I can remember, my goal was to see as many Broadway shows possible. I spent many Saturdays in college spending my money to see two shows in one day. Now, I understand, this is not the case for everyone. People want to see what is known. If you don’t live in the area, you want to be able to go home and say, “I saw Phantom of the Opera on Broadway.” It just makes more sense. This is where the “little shows the could” get lost in the mix. People from all over the world are not coming to see what’s new; they’re coming to see what’s known. Why do you think Cats is making its triumphant return?

Broadway shows will come and go and it is our job as fans to to keep them playing for as long as we can. Support the theater you love. Give the theater you think you might like a chance. See the show you’ve heard nothing about. Who knows? You may come across something life-changing!

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