Broadway’s ‘Children Of A Lesser God’ Sets Closing Date

Matthew Murphy

A single Tony Award nomination for Children of a Lesser God wasn’t enough to keep the production going: Producer Hal Luftig says the Broadway revival will close with the Sunday, May 27 performance.

The Mark Medoff play, originally staged on Broadway in 1980, was revived by director Kenny Leon and stars Joshua JacksonLauren Ridloff and Anthony Edwards.

Ridloff, a former Miss Deaf America, was Tony-nominated last week for Best Actress in a Play. Her well-received performance – kudos include award nominations from the New York Drama League and the Outer Critics Circle, as well as a Theatre World Award – faces tough competition for the Tony in Amy Schumer (Meteor Shower), Condola Rashad (Saint Joan) and, especially, Glenda Jackson (Three Tall Women).

But overall mixed reviews have been followed by sluggish box office. For the week ending May 6, Children of a Lesser God, at Broadway’s Studio 54, grossed $297,762, just 30% of its potential $993,576. Attendance was 5,634 of a possible 8,032.

With the final curtain on May 27, the play will have completed 23 previews and 54 regular performance.

“I’m very proud of the work Kenny Leon, our remarkable cast, and creative team have done to bring this beautiful production to life,” Luftig said, “Mark Medoff’s beautiful play has once again shown audiences the power of open and honest communication. In a world where we too often talk over each other and struggle to be heard there is immense power when you open your mind and start listening.”

The play chronicles the rocky relationship between a hearing teacher at a school for the deaf (Jackson) and a deaf woman who works at the school (Ridloff, in the role that won Marlee Matlin an Oscar in 1986). In addition to Jackson, Ridloff and Edwards, the revival, which began previews March 22, also features Julee Cerda, Treshelle Edmond, Kecia Lewis, and John McGinty.

One of the revival’s producers is Nyle DiMarco, the first deaf contestant (and winner) of The CW’s America’s Next Top Model.

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