The Broadway closing news keeps coming: Tuner “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” will shutter after the holidays, making way for Kiefer Sutherland starrer “That Championship Season” at the Jacobs Theater.
Edgy musical “Bloody Bloody” — an anarchic historical comedy with emo-rock tunes and no big-name actors — repped a considerable commercial risk on the Main Stem, where familiar titles and star power are often big selling points. Show, which began Rialto perfs Sept. 20, earned largely glowing reviews but has had trouble gaining B.O. momentum.
The closing notice for “Bloody Bloody” follows fast on the heels of that for “The Scottsboro Boys,” another artistically ambitious but commercially challenged musical that will soon shutter. This past Sunday, plays “Elling” and “A Life in the Theater” both ended their runs after disappointing sales.
Replacing “Bloody Bloody” at the Jacobs is a show that hews closely to one of Broadway’s more reliably successful production models, the star-driven play revival with a limited run. “Championship” has a cast powered by familiar faces including Sutherland, Brian Cox, Chris Noth, Jason Patric and Jim Gaffigan.
Show’s director, Gregory Mosher, last season helmed the Liev Schreiber-Scarlett Johansson staging of Arthur Miller play “A View From the Bridge,” which proved a success both at the box office and at the Tonys, where Johansson drew a nod. Robert Cole and Frederick Zollo, two of the producers behind Hugh Jackman-Daniel Craig starrer “A Steady Rain,” lead the producing team.
“Bloody Bloody” marked another team-up for commercial proproducers Jeffrey Richards and Jerry Frankel with Off Broadway’s Public Theater, a partnership that also has yielded Broadway outings “Hair” and the current strong-selling revival of “The Merchant of Venice.”
“Bloody Bloody” also served as the Main Stem debut of Off Broadway vets Michael Friedman, who penned the songs, and book writer-helmer Alex Timbers, also the director of “The Pee-wee Herman Show.”
Earlier this year the Public’s Off Broadway production of “Bloody Bloody” earned positive reviews and drew crowds, which helped spur the commercial transfer. But the Rialto incarnation topped the $400,000 mark for the first time only last week, in a frame that saw receipts inflated at nearly every Broadway show thanks to Thanksgiving biz.
“Bloody Bloody,” which has so far pulled in about $2.5 million in its time on Broadway, closes Jan. 2.
“Championship Season,” a revival of Jason Miller’s 1973 play, then moves into the theater to begin previews Feb. 9 ahead of a March 6 opening. Play follows the reunion of a group of former teammates with their high school basketball coach.
Design team is set to include Michael Yeargan (sets), Jane Greenwood (costumes), Peter Kaczorowski (lights) and Scott Lehrer (sounds). Along with Cole and Zollo, producing team includes Shelter Island Enterprises, the Shubert Org, James MacGilvray, Orin Wolf, the Weinstein Co., Redefined Entertainment and Brannon Wiles.