Disney musical ends after three weeks

The Oz tour of Disney’s “High School Musical — Live on Stage” has been nixed soon after it started, with the producers pulling the plug just three weeks after its Dec. 18 opening night.

Show will close Jan. 25, four weeks ahead of its planned Feb. 22 end date. National tour is cancelled, and all tix are selling for A$30 (US$21), less than a third the cost of regular legit tix in Oz.

Co-producer Kevin Jacobsen blamed soft ticket sales on current economic uncertainty, saying it was not financially viable to keep the show running.

“The last few months have been a difficult time for all families, so it is not surprising family entertainment, including large-scale musicals such as ours, are experiencing a drop in ticket sales,” he said.

Premature closing of “HSM” follows the early exit from Sydney of a return season of “Priscilla Queen of the Desert the Musical,” which fell short of producers’ boffo expectations late last year.

A slew of other tuners remain on stage in Oz, among them “Wicked” in Melbourne.

“HSM,” however, never appeared to catch on, with discount tickets on sale prior to opening night. The recent feature “High School Musical 3″ grossed A$10 million (US$7 million), a good but not outstanding tally.

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