Two plays that walked away empty-handed from the Tony Awards ceremony have posted closing notices, now that it’s become clear that the awards-season attention hasn’t provided enough of a boost at the box office to sustain them.
The revival of “Six Degrees of Separation,” starring Allison Janney and Corey Hawkins, will go first, exiting at the end of the week rather than playing into mid-July as initially scheduled. Despite a formidable cast led by Janney, the show earned mixed notices and never took off at the box office, logging weekly grosses of less than $400,000, last week dropping below $275,000.
“Sweat” will follow a week later. Lynn Nottage’s play won a Pulitzer Prize and got a jolt of topical urgency in the weeks following the presidential election, but the show had trouble carving out a foothold in the competitive commercial landscape of Broadway. With no star in its ensemble cast, the production pulled in between $250,000 and about $350,000 a week.
Both shows are produced by teams led by Stuart Thompson, who’s backed plays including “King Charles III” and has the promising new musical “Mean Girls” on the way to its out-of-town premiere this fall. Both titles certainly could have used the boost a Tony Award or two would have brought them, even if it’s not clear how significantly any trophy would have moved the needle in terms of sales.