Funny Girl, Broadway’s riches-to-rags-to-riches smash hit, will close on Sunday, Sept. 3, with stars Lea Michele, Ramin Karimloo, Jared Grimes and Tovah Feldshuh extending their planned runs to see the show through to its final date.
The announcement was made today by Sonia Friedman, Scott Landis and David Babani.
When Funny Girl plays its final performance at the aon Sept. 3, it will have played 599 performances and 30 previews.
The closing will mark the end of one of Broadway’s more tumultuous – and successful – productions of recent years. The first Broadway revival of the Jule Styne-Bob Merrill 1963 musical that made a star of Barbra Streisand (on both the stage and in the 1968 film adaptation) opened in April 2022 starring Beanie Feldstein as Fanny Brice and Jane Lynch as her mother. Though the revival initially proved popular with audiences and Feldstein fans, lukewarm (at best) reviews and a shut-out at the Tony Awards prompted a steep decline at the box office.
Eventually, after a painfully public split between the show’s producers and its star, who often struggled to deliver the musical’s belting, powerhouse songs, Lea Michele, the Glee star who had long made her Fanny Brice desires known, took over the role last September. Michele was a hit with both critics and audiences, leading the revival to hit status and smashing one house record after another.
For the first week in January, Funny Girl set a new box office record at the August Wilson Theatre with a gross of $2,062,739, a record high at the venue for an eight-performance week. A nine-performance week over the 2022 Christmas holiday set a house record for that number of performances, grossing $2,405,901. Prior to Funny Girl, the Wilson’s house record was held by Mean Girls, which set a weekly house record of $1,994,386 in 2018.
But the show’s box office draw would prove inextricably linked with Michele: Just last week, when stars Michele and Karimloo were on scheduled vacations, weekly grosses for the revival dropped $949,604 from the previous week, taking in $933,728 and filling only 84% of seats filled at the Wilson, a stark contrast with the show’s typically sold-out houses.
Despite the box office success, the show’s Broadway producers have not indicated whether it will recoup its capitalization of about $16.5 million.
A North American touring production of the revival will launch in September, although casting has not been announced, with Michele an unlikely prospect for the road. Julie Benko, who plays the Fanny role on Broadway when Michele is off, is a distinct possibility for the tour.
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