‘Bad Cinderella’ Closing on Broadway, Ending Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 43-Year Streak
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical “Bad Cinderella” is closing on Broadway roughly four months after opening night. The producers announced it will play its final show at the Imperial Theatre on June 4.
It’s been a rough go for “Bad Cinderella,” which suffered from bad reviews and lackluster ticket sales. It was also snubbed at the Tonys, failing to receive a single nomination. By the time the curtain comes down for good, “Bad Cinderella” will have played 33 preview performances and 85 regular performances.
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It’s the latest in a long line of recent Broadway closures, including Webber’s classic “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Beetlejuice,” “Almost Famous,” “KPOP,” “A Strange Loop” and “Ain’t No Mo.'” While not all of those shows were embraced by critics and audiences, the number of musicals and plays that abruptly closed is a reminder that Broadway is far from fully recovering from the pandemic.
With the shuttering of “Bad Cinderella” and “Phantom of the Opera,” which was the longest-running production in history before the famous chandelier fell one last time in April, Webber has broken his 43-year streak of shows on Broadway. His storied four-decade run started with “Evita” in 1979 and continued with “Cats” “Starlight Express,” “Sunset Boulevard” and, most recently, “School of Rock.” He’s composed 13 productions over the last four decades, including 1970’s “Jesus Christ Superstar” and 1968’s “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”
A feminist retelling, of sorts, of the classic fairy tale, “Bad Cinderella” opened on London’s West End in the summer of 2021 after several pandemic-related stops and starts. The show, about an outcast who eventually realizes appearances aren’t everything and develops a new take on the concept of “happily ever after,” closed the following June before transferring to Broadway this March. Emerald Fennell, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of “Promising Young Woman,” wrote the original story and book, which was adapted by Alexis Scheer. Webber wrote the music and David Zippel penned the lyrics.
Critics were not kind to “Bad Cinderella,” with Variety‘s Naveen Kumar saying the show lived up to its name… literally. In his review, he called the musical “a muddled and momentum-less retooling of the familiar fairy tale in search of a coherent point of view as if it were a glass-slippered foot.”
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