Bitter end for ‘Charity’

Broadway-bound revival closes in Boston

NEW YORK — The Broadway-bound revival of “Sweet Charity” came to a bitter end over the weekend in Boston, playing its last perf Sunday at the Colonial Theater. On Friday, the producers canceled the projected run in Gotham, where it was skedded to open April 21 at the Al Hirschfeld Theater.

“Our weak sales on the road and in New York have left us with little choice other than to make the painful but fiscally responsible decision to close the production in Boston,” said Barry Weissler, who produced the show with Fran Weissler and Clear Channel Entertainment.

The producers had been hoping that their “Charity” would be “42nd Street” circa 2005: The star gets injured, her replacement goes on at the last minute, and in spite of everything, the show turns into a big hit.

Except for the all-important last part, that’s what happened to the “Sweet Charity” revival on its way to Broadway. Christina Applegate broke her foot during tryouts in Chicago. Charlotte d’Amboise replaced her in Boston. Unfortunately, the Beantown reviews were tepid, and the Walter Bobbie-helmed tuner closed, never to be seen in New York despite the $7.5 million capitalization.

Even before Applegate’s mishap, this “Sweet Charity” revival has had a dramatic backstage story that began three years ago.

Jenna Elfman and then Marisa Tomei auditioned and trained extensively for the title role. During a workshop, Jane Krakowski tussled with book writer Neil Simon, who later disassociated himself from the production. And then the composer, Cy Coleman, died.

Two years ago, the Weisslers shuttered their Broadway-bound revival of “The Miracle Worker,” starring Hilary Swank, before it reached Broadway.

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