Shields starrer hauls home, along with 6 other shows
Tuner “Wonderful Town,” starring Brooke Shields, will close Jan. 30. The Broadway revival will have played 16 previews and 507 regular performances at the Al Hirschfeld Theater. It joins at least six other Broadway shows calling it quits in January.
The original musical by Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Joseph Fields and Jerome Chodorov opened Feb. 25, 1953, starring Rosalind Russell as Ruth Sherwood.
The current production was mounted for Donna Murphy after she wowed critics and auds alike with her 2000 turn in an Encores! concert version of the show. Kathleen Marshall directed and choreographed, and repeated those duties for the 2003 Broadway incarnation.
From the get-go, the revival ran into problems when Murphy canceled several previews due to illness. At the time, Daily Variety reported the show’s producers did not carry insurance on the star. Murphy recovered enough to open the show on Nov. 23, 2003, but over the following year she missed quite a few performances. Box office was adversely affected, and the production is not expected to recoup its capitalization, reportedly $5 million-$6 million.
Shields replaced Murphy in September. Unusually, the replacement has tended to outgross the original star. With Shields on board, “Wonderful Town” hit a nonholiday high of $614,599 for the week of Dec. 6-12.
Producers are Roger Berlind and Barry and Fran Weissler.