Offbeat playwright Will Eno’s Broadway debut, The Realistic Joneses, will end its limited run this Sunday, having played 132 performances at the Lyceum Theatre since March 13. The dramedy about a suburban couple whose life is changed when a weird pair moves in next door stars Toni Collette, Michael C. Hall, Marisa Tomei and Tracy Letts and was staged by Sam Gold. The play had its world premiere last year at the Yale Repertory Theater and came to New York on the strength of some positive reviews and a desire by game lead producers Jeffrey Richards and Jerry Frankel to risk bringing a fresh voice to the commercial bazaar that is Broadway.
Replacing three of the original cast members with stars (only actor-playwright Letts survived the transfer) might have enhanced the show’s chances, but a failure to garner any Tony nominations, along with weak word-of-mouth, killed any prospect of extending the run. Last week the Joneses grossed a respectable $428,156 — 60% of its potential — and had an average ticket price of $84.78. Recasting to extend the run would have been costly and quixotic for a show unlikely to appeal to the summer tourist trade.
Meanwhile, Broadway watchers are still waiting for the final verdict on Holler If Ya Hear Me, which has several producers circling the Palace Theatre hoping for a vacancy in time for the fall season. The Tupac Shakur musical has been running well below its break-even, last week grossing a meager $159.571, 17% of its potential.
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