EXCLUSIVE: Proudly calling their show “the 76th longest running musical in Broadway history,” the producers of Matilda announced this afternoon that the acclaimed show will shutter at the Shubert Theatre in nine months — on January 1, 2017. “By then, it will have played 37 previews, 1,555 regular performances and one Actors Fund performance,” according to the announcement made jointly by the Royal Shakespeare Company and its Broadway partner, The Dodgers. The show is still running in London’s West End.
Although the $16-million production opened to rave reviews, won four Tony Awards and has done solid business throughout its run despite losing the Best Musical Tony to Kinky Boots, Matilda‘s return to investors has lagged far behind other Broadway hits. This is at a time when producers, especially of hits, consider making investors whole a priority. According to income statements reviewed by Deadline, the show only went into profit in the last few months and so far has returned approximately 5% above capitalization costs to its wide group of investors.
By contrast, shows including Kinky Boots and The Book of Mormon were in profit quickly (Hamilton is virtually sui generis in the speed with which it recouped, as Deadline exclusively reported earlier). The RSC set off a bidding war among Broadway producers for the right to co-produce the show, with the Dodgers (Jersey Boys) ultimately winning the prize. But the investors, according to sources, have not always been happy with how the wealth was spread.
A request for comment from the Dodgers had not been answered at the time the closing announcement was released. That announcement says simply that Matilda has recouped.
In their joint statement, the RSC and The Dodgers said, “Everything that is so special about this show has been celebrated by one and a half million audience members at over twelve hundred performances, making its Tony Award-winning run at the Shubert not only a profitable hit but also a critical success. For that invaluable gift, we thank the extraordinarily talented cast, crew, stage management, associate and resident support teams, theatre staff, all the marketing and production teams who run and support the show so well, and our nineteen Matildas who, even though they are little, have done quite a lot.”