The curtain is coming down on Broadway’s newest musical, Gettin’ the Band Back Together, as producers on Friday announced the conclusion of the show’s brief run on Sunday, Sept. 16.
“For a whole bunch of other reasons, (many of which we can’t control, from seasonality to critics and so on) we can’t get the sales traction we need as fast as we need it,” producer Ken Davenport wrote in a blog post, detailing the thinking behind his decision to end the show just one month after officially opening to the public.
In the six weeks since it began previews at the Belasco Theatre, the musical has failed to crack the $300,000 mark, or 40 percent of its gross potential, even once. Cumulative box office as of Aug. 26 is just under $1.4 million. The show’s backers will lose their entire $12.5 million capitalization, marking a costly commercial failure to kick off the 2018-19 Broadway season.
Writes Davenport: “I’ve come to the conclusion that additional monies might keep us going, but would not get us to profitability quickly enough. (Broadway’s biggest challenge is that our high expenses shorten the runway for word-of-mouth to take hold.) We’re like a plane trying to take off, and while we’re gaining some altitude, we’re just not doing it fast enough.”
The producer also placed blame harsh reviews from critics, calling the notices “mean.” The Hollywood Reporter’s Frank Scheck blasted the musical in his review for its lack of originality: “After only a few minutes, you’ll be getting the feeling that you’ve seen it all before.”
The show centers on Mitch Papadopoulos (Mitchell Jarvis), who gave up his rock-star dreams for a day job as a stock broker. After losing that position, the wannabe Bruce Springsteen reunites his old high school musician buddies and competes in a Battle of the Bands, hoping to save his New Jersey family home from foreclosure and give his dreams one last shot.
Previews for Gettin’ the Band Back Together began on July 19, with the show opening on Aug. 13. The production is directed by Tony Award winner John Rando and choreographed by Chris Bailey, with original music and lyrics by Mark Allen.
In addition to Jarvis, castmembers also include Jay Klaitz, Manu Narayan, Paul Whitty, Sawyer Nunes, Marilu Henner and Kelli Barrett, among others.