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After starting a campaign to save the show from closing, Broadway play Ain’t No Mo‘ has extended its run for another week through Dec. 23.
The new play, written by Jordan E. Cooper and produced by Lee Daniels, was originally scheduled to close Dec. 18. However, after receiving the closing notice one week after the play’s opening, Cooper and the show launched a press and social media effort to encourage ticket buying and extend past the closing.
Along the way, Cooper received support from celebrity friends, as well as famous co-producers associated with the play. Co-producers Lena Waithe and RuPaul were scheduled to host talkbacks this week after the show, and Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith bought out a performance of the Broadway show, as did Tyler Perry, as well as Shonda Rhimes, Gabrielle Union, Dwyane Wade, Queen Latifah and Sara Ramirez, according to the production.
Like many other shows on Broadway this season, Ain’t No Mo struggled to attract audiences to the theater amid a downturn in tourism, changes in consumer behavior and COVID-19 fears. Cooper said the challenges are exacerbated for shows that are trying to reach beyond the traditional Broadway audience. KPOP, centered on Korean pop groups, closed Dec. 11, two weeks after opening.
“It’s a matter of getting audiences to show up. The reviews have been great. Audiences have been loving it. The problem is that we just didn’t have time to get [to] the audience that this show belongs to,” Cooper told THR earlier this week.
“We don’t have a celebrity in the show. It’s not based on any recognizable IP. So when you’re a show of color, and you don’t have to have those things, it takes a little bit more time to build your audience and build some buzz,” he said.
It’s rare, though not unheard of, to extend past a closing notice on Broadway. As part of his social media post announcing the show’s closing, Cooper cited The Wiz, which received a closing notice on its opening night in 1975 and then went on to run for four more years. In recent history, Paula Vogel’s play Indecent extended several months past its June 2017 closing notice, and the Dana H. and Is This a Room — two plays that were running in repertory in fall 2021 — extended two weeks after their closing notice due to demand.
Ain’t No Mo’ began previews Nov. 9 and is currently scheduled to run at the Belasco Theatre through Dec. 23, 2022.
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