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The Broadway production of Room has been postponed indefinitely.
The production, which was in rehearsals with Adrienne Warren as the lead, will not go forward following a “shortfall in capitalization” and the withdrawal of a lead producer, the production said Thursday. The production, which was scheduled to begin performances April 3 at the James Earl Jones Theatre, was shuttered as of Thursday.
“In the midst of our rehearsals we were informed by one of our lead producers that due to personal reasons, they did not intend to fulfill their obligations to the production. Since being notified, the rest of the producing team has exhausted all possible avenues to keep the show on track, but the narrow timeline and economic shortfall created by this series of events has proven to be insurmountable,” producer Hunter Arnold said in the press release. “We are incredibly disappointed not to be able to open this remarkable production at this time and are especially heartbroken for our incredibly talented cast and creative team who were hard at work in the rehearsal room.”
A source close to the production confirmed that the closure was due to the withdrawal of a producer and a gap in funding, rather than any financing issues related to Sunday’s closure of Signature Bank, which works with many Broadway productions. However, the seizure of the bank by regulators did lead to some delays in seeing the availability of funds this week, the source said.
The production was set to be capitalized for up to $7 million, according a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The piece was adapted for the stage by Emma Donoghue, who wrote the original novel and the Oscar-nominated screenplay. The stage production features songs and music by Scottish songwriters Kathryn Joseph and Cora Bissett, who was also tapped as director. The show made its world premiere in 2017 at the Theatre Royal Stratford East in London and had subsequent productions in Ireland, Scotland and Ontario.
Ephraim Sykes (Hamilton, Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations) was also set to star in the Broadway production, alongside Kate Burton (Grey’s Anatomy), in a cast of 10.
“We have been honored to share the story of Room since its world premiere in 2017 in London and its subsequent productions in Dublin, Scotland and Ontario. We truly believe that today’s disappointing news will not be the end of Room onstage,” producers Sam Julyan and James Yeoburn said.
All purchased tickets will be refunded.
It’s rare, but not without precedent for a Broadway production to close before it begins performances. In recent history, Nerds, a musical about Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, closed during rehearsals in 2016, after the production also cited the loss of “a major investor.” This later led to a $6 million lawsuit filed by investors against the lead producers. The lawsuit was dismissed in October 2020.
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