This month, the curtains are permanently closing on some of my favorite Broadway shows. Apparently a trend that happens every summer, with closing announcements following the Tony Awards, this just goes to show that Broadway is not just a labor of love, but also big business.
The Prom – Although it only opened on Broadway on Oct. 23, 2018, won the Drama Desk Award for best musical, and received multiple Tony Award nominations, The Prom’s final performance on Broadway is tomorrow, Aug. 11. A heartwarming, uplifting and hilarious musical, this story of past-their-prime Broadway stars (reeling from their latest show closing on opening night and looking to salvage their acting careers and public images) travelling to small-town Indiana to save a high school prom from being cancelled after a student asked to bring her girlfriend is an absolute must-see. There is a silver lining to this dark cloud – a Netflix movie version is slated for 2020 and a national tour is set to launch in 2021.
Be More Chill – After opening at Two River Theater in New Jersey in 2015, Be More Chill debuted off-Broadway in 2018 before ultimately opening on Broadway on Feb. 13, 2019. Also closing tomorrow, Aug. 11, this musical (based on Ned Vizzini’s book of the same name) tells the tale of a high school student desperate enough to fit in (and get the girl) that he ingests a super-computer in pill form, which tells him how to be cool…er, chill. The song, Michael in the Bathroom, which James Corden parodied at the Tony Awards, comes from this show and can be heard on the recently released original cast recording.
The Cher Show – Saying a final farewell on Sunday, Aug. 18, The Cher Show, which opened on Nov. 1, 2018, recounts the story of Cher’s life through three actresses – the young girl who started out with Sonny Bono, the pop star who broke out on her own and the legendary icon we all know and love. Stephanie J. Block took home a Tony Award for her performance as the icon, as did Bob Mackie for designing the show’s glittery glamorous gowns. Unless you can turn back time, you just have a week to catch this one.
Pretty Woman – The Broadway musical adaptation of the Julia Roberts movie also closes on Sunday, Aug. 18. Opening on July 20, 2018, Pretty Woman is a classic guy hires hooker, guy falls for hooker love story. It’s a fun show, whether or not you’ve seen the movie (which I actually have not). With an original score co-written by Canadian pop star Bryan Adams, you can definitely hear his influence in the show’s songs.
King Kong – Another Broadway musical adaptation of a movie, King Kong ends its Broadway run on Sunday, Aug. 18, as well. As in the movie (which I also have never seen), an NYC actress follows a famous filmmaker to Skull Island, where they come face to face with King Kong. The star of this show is the 20-foot tall, 2,000-pound puppet version of King Kong. The term puppet doesn’t seem to do it justice, as it takes 10 people to maneuver it on the stage. I personally felt like the entire show was built as just a vehicle for this creature – and since the show only opened on Oct. 5, 2018, maybe I wasn’t the only one.
While these closings are extremely sad news (some sadder than others), it also means that there will be new shows replacing them. So soon, there will be five more shows for me to see!