UPDATE: Bullets Over Broadway will close at almost a complete loss of its $15 million-plus capitalization. Here’s the second announcement in a week about a movie-to-Main Stem musical closing. Six days after news surfaced that Rocky The Musical was KO’d comes word that Bullets Over Broadway will go dark August 24. The show, based on Woody Allen’s 1994 film comedy about an idealistic playwright who gets entangled with gangsters in order to see his high-minded play produced on Broadway, will lose most, if not all, of its $15-million-plus capitalization. It also represents the second costly demise, after Big Fish, of a musical from last season that arrived with high expectations based not only on its film pedigree but on the previous record of director-choregrapher Susan Stroman (Contact; The Producers).
But the great-looking, slickly produced, high-energy tuner failed to garner the necessary rave reviews and theatergoer buzz despite a name star (Zach Braff) and six Tony nominations. Last week, an almost universally upbeat one on Broadway, Bullets took in $686,693, equal to just 45 percent of its gross potential, at the St. James Theatre box office. That probably didn’t cover its weekly operating expenses.
The show will have played 156 performances since opening April 10 after 33 previews. In addition to Braff, it starred Helene Yorke as the talent-free girlfriend of mobster Vincent Pastore he is forced to cast in order to get his play produced. Brooks Ashmanskas, Nick Cordero, Marin Mazzie, Betsy Wolfe, Lenny Wolpe and Karen Ziemba co-star. The production went home empty-handed after last month’s Tony Awards ceremony. “We are tremendously proud of this show and every single person involved with it,” producers Letty Aronson and Julian Schlossberg said in a statement. “It has been a true pleasure, and we know that Bullets Over Broadway will have a long life in future productions to come.”