Final curtain falling on Simon’s ‘Proposals’

Others shows also fall victim to annual shakeout

NEW YORK — Neil Simon’s “Proposals” is the latest casualty of Broadway’s annual January shakeout. The play, which opened Nov. 6, will close Jan. 11 after only 76 performances and 11 previews.

The Simon comedy, which opened at the Broadhurst Theater to mixed reviews, will not recoup its $1.6 million capitalization.

“Proposals” joins a growing list of recent Broadway productions unable to survive the winter box office doldrums. Both the $5 million musical “Side Show,” which opened at the Richard Rodgers Theater Oct. 16, and the $3.5 million “Triumph of Love,” which bowed at the Royale Oct. 23, closed Jan. 4. Neither tuner recouped.

‘Forum’ revival ends run

The hit revival of “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” also ended its run Jan. 4, having recouped its $4.5 million investment in October of 1996.

The revival, which initially starred Nathan Lane and got a boost of publicity with his replacement Whoopi Goldberg, opened April 18, 1996. Goldberg was replaced by David Alan Grier; Bob Amaral played the lead role during the production’s final month.

Kevin Kline-starrer “Ivanov” ended its limited, non-profit run at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater Jan. 4.

The post-holiday season typically sees a raft of Broadway closings as producers cut their losses prior to inevitable downturns at the box office during the sluggish months of January and February.

‘Grease’ slides away

Also exiting this month is one of Broadway’s longer-running hits, “Grease,” which will vacate the Eugene O’Neill Theater Jan. 25 after a long, profitable run that opened May 11, 1994.

Several Off Broadway productions also called it quits Jan. 4: David Ives’ “Mere Mortals” at Primary Stages, Jane Anderson’s “Defying Gravity” at the American Place Theater and Richard Greenberg’s “Three Days of Rain” at Manhattan Theater Club.

Engagements lengthened

On the brighter side, three limited engagements have been lengthened. The non-prof Roundabout Theater Co. has extended its mainstage run of Arthur Miller’s “A View From the Bridge” to Feb. 15 (original closing was set for Feb. 1) and, on its smaller stage, the Frank Langella-starrer “Cyrano de Bergerac,” extended an extra week through Jan. 25.

Lincoln Center Theater has stretched its run of Tina Howe’s “Pride’s Crossing,” starring Cherry Jones, through the winter. The critically lauded play, originally scheduled to close Jan. 25, will continue through April 5.

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