curtain down

Everything’s NOT coming up roses on Broadway right now

Via Shutterstock.

Fans of the legit theater have just sustained a huge blow: the Broadway box office continues on its downward slide.

Deadline reports the ongoing Omicron surge continues to cause a steady decline in crowds for shows, with attendance sliding another 6% just last week. At the moment, there are only 21 shows performing on the Great White Way, down from 25 the week before.

Broadway theaters have taken desperate measures to try and lure audiences back into seats. This month has seen Broadway Week, the semi-annual promotion that sees massively reduced ticketed prices, extended to almost a full month. Shows have also called in understudies to avoid canceling performances, sometimes resorting to drafting actors who performed years earlier.

Related: How a gay, musical genius created one of Broadway’s biggest bombs

Despite their every effort to stay afloat, four shows went dark just prior in the past week. To Kill a Mockingbird will go on hiatus until the summer, while Flying Over Sunset, Ain’t Too Proud, and Clyde’s have all closed permanently. Curtains will fall on Slave Play and Girl From The North Country next week as well.

One silver lining in the report: the reduced roster of shows has pushed attendance to about 75% per performance. On average, a show needs to fill to 75% capacity to break even on a performance.

In addition to that, two beloved films, The Nutty Professor and Mr. Holland’s Opus, will be getting big-budget musical adaptations later this year. Both shows will go up at the famed Ogunquit Playhouse as a presumable dry run for a Broadway staging.

The pandemic has wreaked havoc on stage performances everywhere. New York’s famed theater district and the mega-shows that usually attract tourists from all over the world went dark for more than a year. Plays began to reopen last summer, with Broadway’s famed musicals striking up the orchestra in the fall.

Related: Beanie Feldstein and Jane Lynch are about to make Broadway even gayer (if that’s possible)