Shuttering notices follow Tuesday's noms announcement
The fallout from the Tony nominations began almost instantly, with producers of two Broadway plays, “Seminar” and “Magic/Bird,” announcing their shows would shutter after coming up empty handed at the Tony noms.
News for “Seminar,” closing Sunday, came just hours after the announcement of the noms, with the “Magic/Bird” decision landing later that afternoon. Both plays needed a boost at the B.O., and were looking for the Tonys to provide one.
A comedy by Theresa Rebeck, “Seminar” initially posted solid if unspectacular sales, fueled by generally positive reviews and the B.O. draw of topliner Alan Rickman. In general, weekly receipts hovered between $400,000 and $500,000 — until Rickman exited the show in early April, when receipts plummeted to less than $200,000 per week as new topliner Jeff Goldblum stepped in. Show grossed $134,207 for the week ending April 29, playing to auds at 57% of capacity.
Production began previews Oct. 27 and opened Nov. 20. Given its sales figures and the length of its run, “Seminar” is unlikely to recoup ahead of closing, although there are further opportunities for revenue in licensed productions of the play — which could prove popular among regionals, thanks in part to the title’s modest cast size and production demands.
“Seminar” centers on an arrogant literary legend and the four members of the private writing workshop he teaches. Helmed by Sam Gold, the comedy currently stars Goldblum, Justin Long, Zoe Lister-Jones, Jerry O’Connell and Hettienne Park. Jeffrey Finn and Jill Furman lead the team of producers.
“Magic/Bird,” the story of the famous hoops rivalry between Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, is the second sports-themed Broadway play from producers Fran Kirmser and Tony Ponturo. Their first outing, pigskin bio “Lombardi,” ran for about eight months, although it didn’t make it into the black before it shuttered.
“Magic/Bird” has had trouble drawing a crowd since it began previews March 21. Show has only once topped $200,00 in weekly sales, last week playing to auds at 53% of capacity. Helmed by Thomas Kail and starring Kevin Daniels and Tug Coker, the play gets ejected from the Rialto May 12.