B.O. fluctuation shuts down DreamWorks project
producer — perceived as engaged in a Rialto rivalry with Disney Theatrical Prods. — might keep the show open in an effort to save face. During its run, “Shrek” proved that it could attract some tourist auds, consistently posting gains in weeks when Gotham saw a rise in visitors. But Broadway box office never held steady at the kind of high numbers many suspected would be required to sustain the elaborate production. The show, which earned mixed critical notices in the wake of its Dec. 14 opening, was nommed for eight Tonys, including top tuner, but came away with a single trophy for Tim Hatley’s costume design. The musical has grossed $37.7 million since it began Rialto perfs Nov. 8. Based on the DreamWorks movie and the book by William Steig, “Shrek” has music by Jeanine Tesori (“Thoroughly Modern Millie”) and book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire (“Rabbit Hole”). Jason Moore (“Avenue Q”) directs. Production tried out at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theater last year. Tinkering during the development process included the recasting of an actor in a major part, the reimagining of another character and the addition of director-choreographer Rob Ashford to the creative team as a consultant. The musical is a co-production of DreamWorks Theatricals and Neal Street Prods. A previously announced national tour of “Shrek” will launch in Chicago in July.
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