Tuner revival had trouble attracting auds
It’s no longer a rumor: “Ragtime” will shutter Sunday.The musical revival has been the subject of much discussion along Broadway since it opened last month, earning its fair share of favorable reviews and word of mouth but failing to build significant momentum at the box office. Last week, which saw sales rise at several shows thanks to holiday traffic, brought only a modest step up for “Ragtime,” which logged a tally of $616,303 and played to houses at 63% of capacity. Closing looks sure to fuel laments about the increasing difficulty of selling Broadway productions without a crowd-fave title or a top-tier star. Like the travails of the fall’s short-lived but well-reviewed play revival of “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” the difficulties “Ragtime” has had in attracting auds has surprised many industry observers. The staging of the 1998 tuner by Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Flaherty and Terrence McNally, helmed by Marcia Milgrom Dodge, originated in a spring run at the Kennedy Center, where the reception from local auds and press was strong enough to turn the heads of Gotham producers. The Rialto incarnation, starring many members of the KenCen cast, began previews Oct. 23 ahead of a Nov. 15 opening. The New York production, which has so far grossed a total of $4.7 million, has had little opportunity to begin recouping its capitalization costs of $8.5 million. Kevin McCollum, Roy Furman, Scott Delman, Roger Berlind and Emanuel Azenberg are among the show’s producers. When “Ragtime” closes Jan. 3, it will have run a total of 28 previews and 57 regular perfs.
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