‘The Visit,” a dark and challenging musical by the “Chicago” songwriting team of Kander and Ebb, has struggled at the box office since it began performances; mixed reviews didn’t give it much of a boost. The show wasn’t one of the frontrunners in a Tony race that came down to “Fun Home” and “An American in Paris,” but star Chita Rivera, an 82-year-old Broadway favorite, had been thought to have some chance at the lead actress in a musical trophy. (The award went to Kelli O’Hara.)
With a book by Terrence McNally and direction by John Doyle (the upcoming revival of “The Color Purple”), “The Visit” is based on the 1956 Swiss play by Friedrich Durrenmatt about the world’s wealthiest woman (Rivera), returning to her destitute hometown to offer salvation at a terrible price. Tom Nelis stepped into the show’s co-starring role in recent weeks after original star Roger Rees had to bow out due to illness.
Since beginning previews in March, weekly box office at “The Visit” has proven downright dire, never cracking the $250,000 mark. With a team of producers led by Tom Kirdahy — who had a hit on his hands last season with the starry revival of “It’s Only a Play” — “The Visit” shutters Sunday.