“Company” and “Radio Golf” have become the first post-Tony casualties of the season, with the Broadway productions of both shows to shutter July 1.
Although the revival of Stephen Sondheim-George Furth musical “Company” scored the Tony for revival of a tuner, it’s generally agreed that only the trophy for new tuner (which went to “Spring Awakening”) has real power to boost box office. “Golf,” meanwhile, won none of the four Tonys for which it was nommed.
“Company” star Raul Esparza had been tipped to win the Tony for actor in a musical, but the award went to David Hyde Pierce, star of “Curtains,” in one of the few surprises of the night.
Originally produced at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, “Company” has been playing since October on Broadway, where sales have mostly been modest. The production, which brought about $225,000 last week, has not yet recouped.
“Golf,” meanwhile, was recognized as a milestone for being the Rialto preem of the final entry in Wilson’s cycle of 10 plays chronicling African- American life in the 20th century. Wilson died in 2005, soon after completing revisions of the script.
But the play, capitalized at around $2 million, has struggled at the box office, with a weekly gross that has not once topped $200,000 since previews began April 20.
Neither Sondheim nor Wilson are considered strong commercial contenders. Few Rialto productions of Sondheim musicals ever recoup, and while “Golf” is the ninth Wilson play to be seen on Broadway, only two, “Fences” (1987) and “The Piano Lesson” (1990), have ever earned back their money.
“Company,” which opened Nov. 29 to generally strong reviews, follows a single guy named Bobby and his married friends. Directed by John Doyle, all the actors in the production also play all the instruments, as thesps did for Doyle’s production of Sondheim tuner “Sweeney Todd” last season. “Company” producers include Marc Routh, Richard Frankel, Tom Viertel, Steven Baruch, Ambassador Theater Group and Cincinnati Playhouse. “Golf” is chronologically the last in Wilson’s decade-by-decade look at black life. Set in the 1990s, plot centers on a African-American politician in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, where many of Wilson’s plays take place. Helmed by Kenny Leon, “Golf” stars Harry Lennix, Tonya Pinkins and Tony-nominated featured actors Anthony Chisolm and John Earl Jelks. Production team includes Jujamcyn Theaters, Margo Lion and Jeffrey Richards/Jerry Frankel, among others, in association with Jack Viertel and Gordon Davidson.