'Bronx Bombers' Bombs on Broadway
Three strikes, you're out.
Having played to sluggish business, both through preview performances and since its official opening to tepid reviews Feb. 6, Bronx Bombers will leave the field on Broadway. Producers on Thursday announced its final performance for March 2.
The play stars Peter Scolari as Yogi Berra, who serves as the audience's guide in a historical tour through a century of Yankees triumphs and trials. It also features portrayals of such baseball greats as Reggie Jackson, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Elston Howard and Derek Jeter.
Despite the marketing assist of backing from the Yankees and Major League Baseball, the production has not once cracked the $200,000 mark in any of its six weeks at the Circle in the Square Theatre. It started previews Jan. 10.
Written and directed by Eric Simonson, Bronx Bombers is the third attempt by lead producers Fran Kirmser and Tony Ponturo to tap that most elusive of Broadway demographics: the heterosexual male sports fan.
Kirmser and Ponturo previously teamed with the National Football League in 2010 on Lombardi, about Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi, which scraped out an eight-month run doing modest business but ultimately did not make a profit.
In 2012, the producers turned to basketball, enlisting the National Basketball Association's involvement in Magic/Bird, about the professional rivalry and friendship between Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. Like Bronx Bombers, that play ran just a month after opening to poor reviews.
All three dramas were written by Simonson.