'Fiddler on the Roof' Sets Broadway Closing Date

Courtesy of Joan Marcus
Jessica Hecht and Danny Burstein in 'Fiddler on the Roof'

The acclaimed musical revival starring Danny Burstein and Jessica Hecht, which was nominated this year for three Tony Awards, will play its final performance Dec. 31.

Sunrise, sunset.

That cycle will come to a close Dec. 31 when the Tony-nominated revival of Fiddler on the Roof plays its final performance at New York's Broadway Theatre, with the five-month advance notice aiming to boost business through the summer and fall.

"We felt that it was important to provide people with enough time to come see this great musical in a definitive production," lead producer Jeffrey Richards said Tuesday. "Who knows the next time one will be able to experience this award-winning show on Broadway."

Directed by Bartlett Sher, the production features a 40-member cast headed by Danny Burstein and Jessica Hecht, backed by a 23-piece orchestra playing the classic score by composer Jerry Bock and lyricist Sheldon Harnick. It received Tony nominations this year for lead actor Burstein (soon to be seen onscreen in James Schamus' Indignation), choreographer Hofesh Shechter and for best musical revival.

Sher's decision to affix a contemporary framing device to the 1964 musical about a Jewish community being driven from their village in early 20th century Russia sparked heated discussion throughout the production's preview period. But the revival opened Dec. 20 last year largely to rave reviews, with many critics commenting on the deepened emotional resonance of providing a living link to the world's current immigration crisis.

The $11.5 million production has not yet announced recoupment of its investment, but business has been solid throughout the majority of the run, frequently topping $1 million a week. However, recent weeks' grosses have fallen below $750,000, insufficient to sustain such a large-scale production in a theater seating 1,760. Cumulative box office to date stands at $31.7 million.

By the time it closes, Fiddler on the Roof will have played a total of 464 performances. No touring plans have been announced. The show's departure from the Broadway Theatre creates a prime vacancy for one of the major incoming musicals looking for a venue in the spring.

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