Hang a couple more vacancy signs on Broadway. Mel Brooks’ monster musical, “Young Frankenstein,” and teen tuner “13” will both close Jan. 4, adding to a growing list of shows slated to shutter soon after the holidays.
While no official box office figures were reported for Brooks and Robert F.X. Sillerman’s production of “Young Frankenstein,” it became apparent early in the show’s New York run that lightning had not struck twice for the creative team behind “The Producers.”
Brooks’ second stage adaptation will close at the Hilton Theater after 30 previews and 484 regular perfs. Unofficial box office estimates published by Daily Variety for the show list cumulative grosses through Nov. 16 as $59,298,600. Weekly tallies have fluctuated recently in the $500,000-$700,000 range — on the lean side for a large-scale show with a high-end weekly nut believed to be north of $600,000.
“Young Frankenstein” opened Nov. 8, 2007, in New York to lukewarm reviews following a tryout run at Seattle’s Paramount Theater. It was one of a small handful of shows able to continue performances through the stagehands strike that darkened most Broadway theaters for 19 days last Thanksgiving.
Susan Stroman directed and choreographed the musical, which was written by Brooks and Thomas Meehan with music and lyrics by Brooks. Sillerman said the first national tour will launch in September.
Word has leaked in recent months that producers of Julie Taymor’s upcoming “Spider-Man,” scored by U2 members Bono and the Edge, are circling the Hilton as one of the few Broadway houses large enough to accommodate and sustain a profitable run of the mammoth musical. No dates for the production have been announced.
Brit helmer Jeremy Sams’ production of “13” will have played 22 previews and 105 regular performances at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater when it closes after a short run. Written by Dan Elish and Robert Horn with music by Jason Robert Brown, the show about a popular New York kid uprooted to small-town Indiana opened Oct. 5.
With its all-teen cast and onstage teen band, the tuner was clearly aimed to attract the “High School Musical” demographic to Broadway. But critical response was generally cool for “13,” which struggled to draw audiences, playing to less than 50% capacity for much of its run.
Prior to Broadway, the show was staged by the Center Theater Group in Los Angeles and the Goodspeed in Chester, Conn. Lead producer Bob Boyett reports interest in national and international tours.
The closing of “13” marks another swift casualty for the current Rialto season, alongside “[title of show],” “A Tale of Two Cities” and “American Buffalo.” The David Mamet revival that starred John Leguizamo, Cedric the Entertainer and Haley Joel Osment closed Sunday, just one week after opening to tepid reviews.
Along with the year-old “Young Frankenstein,” three longer-running shows also will lower their final curtain in January, with Tony winners “Hairspray,” “Monty Python’s Spamalot” and “Spring Awakening” all set to close. (“Spamalot” had announced a Jan. 18 final perf but producers have since bumped up the date by a week to Jan. 11.)
Given the dire state of the economy and the traditionally precipitous post-holiday box office drop, more closing notices are expected to follow, with a higher number of theaters than usual likely to remain dark in the early part of the year.