Musical breaks even just before closing

Broadway musical “Memphis” has recouped its $12 million capitalization, according to producers, pushing the show into the black just under the wire of its Aug. 5 closing.

Tuner, which began previews Sept. 23, 2009, will have played close to three years by the time it closes. News underscores the uphill battle recoupment can be even for shows that have scored the top Tony — as “Memphis” did when it picked up the Tony for musical in 2010.

A feel-good 1950s romance about an African-American singer and a white DJ who is one of the first to play black tunes on the radio, “Memphis” got a healthy boost in the wake of its Tony win, but it never quite blew up into the kind of mega-grossing smash along the lines of “The Book of Mormon” or “The Lion King.”

With four Tonys in their pockets — for tuner, score (from Bon Jovi member David Bryan and Joe DiPietro), book (Di Pietro) and orchestrations (Bryan and Daryl Waters) — producers also kept up B.O. with ads that played up the song-and-dance energy of the show’s larger production numbers. Title also aimed to raise its national profile, soon after the launch of the road incarnation, with a special HD cinemacast of the musical; pic has since been released on DVD and on Netflix.

Musical has so far cumed about $103.8 million at the box office. Last week the production brought in $602,970 and played to houses at 78% of capacity.

Helmed by Christopher Ashley and choreographed by Sergio Trujillo, “Memphis” currently stars Adam Pascal and Montego Glover, who was nommed for a Tony for her perf in the tuner.

Producing team of the musical is led by Juckyard Dog Prods., Barbara and Buddy Freitag and Kenny and Marleen Alhadeff.

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