‘King Kong’, ‘The Cher Show’ Announce Closing Notices As Broadway Continues Post-Tony Culling
Two of Broadway’s more imposing figures are calling it quits: King Kong and The Cher Show have posted closing notices, the latest exits in the annual post-Tony culling.
Each production will play its final performance on Sunday, Aug. 18.
Though Cher star Stephanie J. Block and costume designer Bob Mackie won Tony Awards at the ceremony June 9, the wins apparently didn’t translate into a big enough box office boost to keep the beat going on. For the week ending June 23 – a prime week for the post-Tony b.o. benefits to make themselves known – The Cher Show grossed $858,578, about 58% of its potential at the Neil Simon Theatre.
Written by Rick Elice, directed by Jason Moore and starring Block, Teal Wicks and Micaela Diamond as Cher at various points in her life, the jukebox bio-musical opened Dec. 3, 2018, to mixed reviews, with most critics praising Block even when less than dazzled with the glitzy rest.
When it closes, The Cher Show will have played 34 previews and 296 regular performances. Produced by Cher, Flody Suarez and Jeffrey Seller, The Cher Show will launch a national tour in Rochester, N.Y., in October 2020 (additional dates and cities will be announced later).
Though Cher never drummed up the audience must-see appeal of the season’s stand-out jukebox musical Ain’t Too Proud, by far the greater financial flop was King Kong, the $36.5 million special-effects-heavy musical that stars the massive, one-ton gorilla puppet operated by an on-stage team of technicians. Critics were duly taken with the beast, but the rest of the show fell flat.
Kong‘s grosses for the week ending June 23 were $782,914, about 53% of potential at the Broadway Theatre. That massive $36.5M will not be recouped when the show closes Aug. 18 after 29 previews and 324 performances.
King Kong, which won a special Tony Award for the creature design, was produced by Carmen Pavlovic (Global Creatures) and Roy Furman, with book by Jack Thorne, score by Marius de Vries and songs by Eddie Perfect; the director and choreographer was Drew McOnie, and the cast included Christiani Pitts, Eric William Morris and Erik Lochtefeld.
A Shanghai production of King Kong is set for 2021, and producers say a North American tour, as well as productions in Japan and Spain, are in development.
The roster of post-Tony closing announcements now includes Kong, Cher, The Prom, Be More Chill, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus and Hillary and Clinton. King Lear, starring Glenda Jackson, announced an early close just prior to the Tonys (Jackson was not nominated).