“Here Lies Love,” an unconventional disco musical about the rise and fall of former Philippine First Lady Imelda Marcos, will close on Broadway this month due to lackluster ticket sales.
The final performance will be a Sunday matinee on Nov. 26, concluding a run of 33 previews and 149 regular performances. The show, co-written by David Byrne and veteran DJ Fatboy Slim, began previews at the Broadway Theatre on June 17 before opening on July 20.
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“Here Lies Love” began as a concept album and staged runs in Seattle and Off Broadway before its bow on the Great White Way. The Broadway transfer involved reconstructing the venue to remove the orchestra seating and replace it with a dance floor. While there was traditional seating in the mezzanine section, a portion of the audience stood and moved with the actors during the show to create a party ambiance.
All of those changes were expensive to maintain, and the show was losing money because tickets weren’t selling out. It cost about $700,000 per week to mount “Here Lies Love,” which exceeded its weekly box office take of $500,000 to $620,000, according to The Washington Post.
“When we started this journey to bring this bold and original work to Broadway, we asked ourselves: Can anyone produce on Broadway in a new way? Is there a new path forward? What does the template look like? Will audiences want something radically new? Who will those audiences be?” the producers said in a lengthy statement.
“We have learned a great deal about the answers to those questions. Yes, new ways can work. Artistic excellence can be achieved. But the reality is, succeeding on Broadway means not only producing excellent work with artistic merit — it also means creating the audience for it. And how much time it takes to find and grow new audiences is out of sync with the tight timeframes for audience-building and awareness.”
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