Broadway’s ‘Big Fish’ Bails Out

Big Fish closing Broadway

Musical posts a closing notice in the wake of declining weekly box office numbers

Big Fish,” the Broadway musical adaptation of the 2003 Tim Burton movie and the novel that inspired it, has thrown in the towel, posting a closing notice for Dec. 29.

Weekly sales for the tuner, with music by Andrew Lippa (“The Addams Family”) and book by screenwriter John August, have declined steadily for the last few weeks, leading many legiters to suspect that the writing was on the wall for the show, which, like all large-scale musicals, carries a relatively high weekly running cost. After B.O. numbers peaked at around $850,000 the week after it opened Oct. 6, receipts have begun to taper, with the production posting $647,165 and auds at 69% of capacity for the week ending Nov. 3. Attendance has also begun to deflate.

“Big Fish,” with a high-profile creative team led by director-choreographer Susan Stroman (“The Producers,” “The Scottsboro Boys”), tried out in Chicago earlier this year prior to landing on the Main Stem in the fall. New York reviews ran the gamut, balancing out to a largely mixed critical reaction that didn’t prove upbeat enough to sell many tickets.

Topliner Norbert Leo Butz (“Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” “Catch Me If You Can”) won the lion’s share of critics’ praise, with the thesp leading a cast that also includes Kate Baldwin and Bobby Steggert.

Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen, the producers of the film version, are behind the tuner adaptation along with Stage Entertainment USA (bringing “Rocky” to the Rialto in the spring), Roy Furman, Edward Walson, James L. Nederlander, Broadway Across America/Rich Entertainment Group and John Domo, among others.

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  1. I hate to read this! Daniel Wallace is a wonderful writer. Who know WHY some make big bucks on Broadway while others do not. Still, BIG FISH has a strong, loyal following to my judgement and always will.

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