'Children of a Lesser God' to End Broadway Run in May

Courtesy of Matthew Murphy
Lauren Ridloff and Joshua Jackson in 'Children of a Lesser God'

Business dropped last week to below $300,000, which is just 30 percent of its gross potential.

One week after it nabbed just one Tony Award nomination, Children of a Lesser God's producer announced that it will be ending its run on Broadway this month.

“I’m very proud of the work Kenny Leon, our remarkable cast and creative team have done to bring this beautiful production to life,” producer Hal Luftig said Tuesday in a statement. “Mark Medoff’s beautiful play has once again shown audiences the power of open and honest communication. In a world where we too often talk over each other and struggle to be heard, there is immense power when you open your mind and start listening.”

The play stars The Affair's Joshua Jackson and Wonderstruck actress Lauren Ridloff, a former Miss Deaf America, who bagged a lead actress Tony nomination following glowing reviews for her Broadway debut. Still, the lack of more noms was considered a snub given that both leads for the original play, which premiered in 1979, won acting Tonys for their roles.

This year's single nomination likely wasn't enough to reverse slow returns at the box office, given the generally mixed reviews for the revival, which opened April 11 following three weeks of previews. Business dropped last week to below $300,000, which is just 30 percent of its gross potential. Total box office after seven weeks is a poor $2.2 million.

Children of a Lesser God follows the complicated romance and professional relationship between a teacher at a school for the deaf (played in this staging by Jackson) and a deaf women (Ridloff) he meets there.

The Hollywood Reporter's chief theater critic David Rooney wrote of the revival in his review, "The production tips the balance away from the author's sensitive handling of deaf politics toward the bland reaffirmation that the heart is a more powerful communication tool than the human voice. If that sounds like the melodramatic fodder of a vintage Lifetime movie, you got it."

David Rooney contributed to this report.