The Broadway production of Hillary and Clinton will close one month early. Producer Scott Rudin on Monday announced that the Lucas Hnath play, which stars Laurie Metcalf and John Lithgow in the title roles, will have its final performance Sunday.
The early closing date for Hillary and Clinton is due to underwhelming ticket sales. The play, which cost $4.2 million to produce, began performances in March and drew mixed-to-positive reviews, but has struggled to fill seats, reaching only 36 percent of its gross potential in the past two weeks. Its cumulative box office stands at $4.7 million.
Directed by Joe Mantello, the limited engagement originally was scheduled through July 21. By the time of its final performance, the play will have had 37 previews and 77 regular performances at the John Golden Theater.
Hillary and Clinton takes place in a New Hampshire hotel room in 2008, imagining interactions between Hillary and Bill Clinton as she struggles with her campaign during the 2008 presidential election, with her chief opponent, Barack Obama, gaining steam.
This is the third play produced by Rudin during the 2018-2019 season to end its run earlier than expected. Rudin’s production of Shakespeare’s King Lear, starring Glenda Jackson, closed earlier this month, while Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus closed seven weeks ahead of its original Aug. 4 end date.
On the other end of the spectrum, however, Rudin is lead producer on the season’s top nonmusical blockbuster, the Aaron Sorkin adaptation of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, which has broken records to become the highest-grossing American play in Broadway history, surpassing $50 million at the box office.
Hnath’s play earned one Tony Award nomination during the 2019 ceremony for two-time previous winner Laurie Metcalf’s lead performance as Hillary Clinton, though she lost out on this year’s trophy to Elaine May for her work in another Rudin production, Kenneth Lonergan’s The Waverly Gallery.