“Beetlejuice” on Broadway to close in 2020 – Hugh Jackman may be the reason why!
According to a report from Broadway World, Beetlejuice will play its final performance at the Winter Garden Theatre in New York City on Saturday, June 6, 2020. This comes off of the news that Beetlejuice just broke the Winter Garden Theatre Box Office Record for 8 performances on the week ending December 1, 2019 grossing nearly $1.6 million over Thanksgiving week, and has been doing exceptionally well since its debut. How well? It was nominated for eight Tony Awards including BEST NEW MUSICAL, it won the Drama Desk Award and Outer Critics Circle Award for David Korins’ scenic design, and Sophia Anne Caruso won the Theatre World Award for her performance as Lydia. So yeah, that’s pretty well.
Broadway shows that get high critical reception close all the time as bewildering as it may seem, but usually not when they are setting box office records. So what is the reason this particular show is getting the boot? You can potentially thank Wolverine for that.
According to a report from The New York Times, “The Music Man” with Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster will open at the Winter Garden in the fall, meaning they will turn over quickly to make way for this revival.
“It’s sad and a shame, and also, in its own way, historic,” said Hal Luftig (in that Times article), a “Beetlejuice” co-producer and veteran of producing Broadway shows. “I don’t think there’s ever been a case when a show has turned itself around in such a fashion and then has to leave its theater.” We also learned in that article what went on behind the scenes to prevent this, but ultimately nothing could be resolved:
Warner Bros. unsuccessfully broached the idea of a compromise that could satisfy both shows. Among other proposals, the company offered to pay to relocate “To Kill a Mockingbird,” a box office hit also produced by Rudin, from the Shubert Theater to a smaller house, so “The Music Man” could be staged at the Shubert while “Beetlejuice” remained at the Winter Garden.
But the two production teams could not agree on a price tag.
Hugh Jackman is big money, especially for tourists who flock NYC year round to see Broadway shows. Aside from being a great performer, he is a huge attraction, and a spectacle show like “The Music Man” will certainly garner much attention. However, it’s sad to see such an exciting show like “Beetlejuice” be unceremoniously axed for less than stellar reasons. It was such a niche show, and besides, how cool was it knowing that Tim Burton had a Broadway show!
Fans who did not get the opportunity to see Beetlejuice will have a second chance, as the company will launch a National Tour in the fall of 2021, with cities and dates to be announced shortly. There is also word that the producers and Warner Bros. are trying to find a new theater to stage the show in NYC, but the Winter Garden Theatre is really the most ideal choice. This theater was home to many big budget productions that had lavish sets or required special effects, such as Cats and Rocky to name a few.