'Doctor Zhivago' Bows Out on Broadway

Tam Mutu in 'Doctor Zhivago'

After receiving no love from the Tony Awards nominating committee, the large-scale musical based on the Boris Pasternak novel and the classic David Lean screen epic will close Sunday.

Chalk up another victim of Tony Awards season.

After coming up empty-handed in the nominations and failing to spark much excitement at the box office, the large-scale musical Doctor Zhivago will close May 10, less than three weeks after its official opening.

Based on the 1957 Boris Pasternak novel that spawned David Lean's screen classic with Julie Christie and Omar Sharif, the epic romance set against the Russian Revolution was written by Michael Weller, with a score by Lucy Simon and lyrics by Michael Korie and Amy Powers. Des McAnuff, a Tony winner for The Who's Tommy, directed the production.

Read more 'Doctor Zhivago': Theater Review

To get to Broadway, the show marshaled a platoon of some 50 producers, the majority of them newcomers. Despite the underwhelming response from critics and audiences in New York, lead producer Anita Waxman pointed to possible touring plans in the closing announcement.

"We look forward to this soaring and beautiful new musical having a long future with productions playing not only in North America, but also around the world," she said in a statement.

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When the truncated run ends at the Broadway Theatre, Doctor Zhivago will have played 26 previews and 23 regular performances. The production reportedly cost $12 million to mount; in its five weeks on the boards it has grossed less than $2.7 million, averaging 68 percent capacity for the week that ended Sunday.

Traditionally, while Tony season brings a substantial box-office boost for some shows, the crush of April openings means that productions without critical support, major stars or awards attention often struggle to survive.

The closing of Doctor Zhivago marks the third final curtain on a Broadway spring production in a week. It follows the May 3 closing of Living on Love, which also was passed over by Tony nominators; and The Heidi Chronicles, which secured a lead actress nomination for Elisabeth Moss but had been struggling to build audiences, causing producers to halt the limited engagement three months ahead of schedule.

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