They gave it their best shot — including a vibrant, full-throttle production — but after almost a year of struggle at Broadway’s second largest theater, the producers of On The Town are sailing off into the sunset. The critically acclaimed but audience-starved revival of the 1944 Leonard Bernstein-Betty Comden & Adolph Green musical about three sailors on 24-hour shore leave in the big city will conclude its run at the Lyric Theatre on September 6 after 28 previews and 368 regular performances.
Beginning August 25, Misty Copeland will make her Broadway debut in the show as Ivy Smith for 12 performances only, through closing. Copeland will be performing at the Tuesday, Thursday and Friday evening shows and the Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday matinees. The show will also have a Saturday and Sunday evening performance during those weeks.
The lavish production, which originated at the Barrington Stage Company in Massachusetts, was nominated for four Tony Awards, including best musical revival, lead actor in a musical (Tony Yazbeck), best director (John Rando) and best choreography (Joshua Bergasse). The lead producers were Howard & Janet Kagan, who even tried crowd-sourcing on the web to help finance the show, capitalized at about $8.5 million. Great reviews weren’t enough to fill even half the 1,800-seat house on a regular basis when the competition from the likes of Kinky Boots, Matilda and even a second Comden & Green revival, On The Twentieth Century — playing just a few doors down on 42nd Street — proved too strong.