The acclaimed Bob Dylan musical Girl From The North Country will play its final Broadway performance at The Belasco Theatre on Jan. 23, with producers saying they’re in advanced conversations with the Shubert Organization to re-open in the spring after the Omicron surge subsides.
The unusual announcement follows a similar plan confirmed by producers of Mrs. Doubtfire, which closed on Jan. 10 with the intention of returning to the Stephen Sondheim Theatre on March 14.
“Girl From The North Country is an important part of this season,” said Robert E. Wankel, Chairman and CEO of The Shubert Organization, in a statement. “We have always been supportive of this show, and we are excited about bringing it to another theater in the spring.”
The musical, written and directed by playwright Conor McPherson, reimagines the songs of Bob Dylan to tell the story of a Depression-era boarding house and its various inhabitants. Though critically acclaimed, the production, like so many others on Broadway, has struggled in recent weeks, reportedly closing off its balcony to better fill the orchestra seats.
“Although this is a very challenging time for all forms of live entertainment, Broadway is still open with gold standard protocols in place to keep everyone on both sides of the curtain safe,” said executive producer Aaron Lustbader. “We are looking forward to bringing Girl From The North Country back to Broadway later this spring.”
When it closes on Jan. 23, the production will have played 31 previews and 117 regular performances. It originally opened on Broadway on March 5, 2020, closing a week later due to the New York Covid pandemic shutdown. The musical re-opened October 13, 2021.
“Working on Broadway with this show has been an incredible and beautiful experience,” said producers Tristan Baker and Charlie Parsons in a joint statement. “We are eternally grateful to our amazing cast and crew for their unwavering commitment, fortitude and professionalism to deliver the very best show each night. We are most appreciative to our fans and the Broadway community for welcoming us with open arms. We really believe in this show and are looking forward to seeing it in another Shubert house in the spring.”
Last week, total Broadway box office and attendance plummeted as Omicron spiked and holiday tourists left New York. Total box office for 27 shows was a dismal $18 million – a 31% drop from the 30-show total of the previous week. Nearly 40% of available seats across the Broadway roster went unfilled during the theater week ending Jan . 9.
Box office figures for individual shows are not being released by The Broadway League this season, in a break with tradition, but a hiatus of several months could save the production a significant sum: Mrs. Doubtfire producer Kevin McCollum has told reporters that his musical’s temporary shutdown could save the show anywhere from $3.5 million to $4 million.
Other Broadway productions have exited the stage for good as Covid hit cast members, causing cancellations, and scaring off audiences. Jagged Little Pill, Waitress and Thoughts of a Colored Man recently closed, and the previously seat-filling Temptations musical Ain’t Too Proud will follow suit on Jan. 16.
Girl From The North Country originated at The Old Vic in London, then played New York’s Public Theater Off Broadway before its Broadway move. In addition to a previous Toronto staging, the musical currently is playing in Sydney, Australia. The original Broadway cast album was recently nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album.
The Broadway cast features Mare Winningham, Todd Almond, Colin Bates, Jeannette Bayardelle, Jennifer Blood, Alex Joseph Grayson, Matthew Frederick Harris, Caitlin Houlahan, Robert Joy, Marc Kudisch, Luba Mason, Ben Mayne, Matt McGrath, Tom Nelis, Jay O. Sanders, John Schiappa, Austin Scott, Housso Semon, Kimber Elayne Sprawl, Edward Staudenmayer, Rachel Stern, Anastasia Talley, Chiara Trentalange, Bob Walton, Aidan Wharton, and Chelsea Lee Williams.
Girl From The North Country is produced on Broadway by Tristan Baker & Charlie Parsons for Runaway Entertainment, Steven Lappin, Sony Music Entertainment/Sony ATV, David Mirvish, Len Blavatnik, The Dodgers, Eric & Marsi Gardiner, Dianne Roberts, John Gore Organization, Nederlander Presentations, Inc., Tommy Mottola, Independent Presenters Network, Rod Kaats, Diana DiMenna, Mary Beth O’Connor, Barbara H. Freitag, Patrick Catullo, The Old Vic (Artistic Director, Matthew Warchus; Executive Director, Kate Varah; Producer, Georgia Gatti) and The Public Theater (Artistic Director, Oskar Eustis; Executive Director, Patrick Willingham; Director of Public Theater Productions, Mandy Hackett), with Aaron Lustbader serving as Executive Producer.