NEW YORK — After declining box office numbers in recent weeks, the musical First Date will give Broadway the kiss-off, setting its final curtain for Jan. 5, 2014.
The romantic comedy about the first night out of a couple of seemingly ill-matched young New Yorkers opened to mixed reviews on Aug. 8 at the Longacre Theatre. It has played to modest business since then, never catching on enough to overcome its lack of a strong marketing hook.
Weekly grosses failed to hit the $500,000 mark, with last week’s box office totaling just $281,538. However, by announcing their closing date two months in advance, producers clearly are hoping to pick up some holiday traffic, starting with the Thanksgiving break, which traditionally is one of Broadway’s busiest weeks.
Directed by Bill Berry, with choreography by Josh Rhodes, the show has music and lyrics by newcomers Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner, with a book by Austin Winsberg. It stars Zachary Levi of NBC’s Chuck, making his Broadway debut, alongside Krysta Rodriguez, who was a regular on NBC’s Smash and was last seen on Broadway in The Addams Family.
Reviewing the show in The Hollywood Reporter, Frank Scheck wrote that it “displays a genuine wit and musical flair that marks a refreshing change from the onslaught of overblown musicals permeating Broadway these days.”
First Date will have played 34 previews and 174 regular performances by the time it closes.
The news comes the same day as producers of the play A Time to Kill, adapted from the John Grisham novel, announced an early closing date of Nov. 17. Other commercial casualties of the 2013-14 Broadway season to date include the musicals Let It Be and Soul Doctor.