Despite receiving high praise from critics on its opening night, “Brighton Beach Memoirs” has had its final curtain call. Only nine performances and 25 previews into its run, the autobiographical play by Neil Simon was pulled from the marquee of the Nederlander Theatre on West 41st Street in New York City.
The play, directed by David Cromer, opened October 25 and closed somewhat unexpectedly on November 1. While forenotice about the closure was minimal, the production had been underperforming at the box office.
Critics raved about the production and its heartfelt, natural performances, but the praise was ultimately not enough to fill seats. The 1,201-seat Nederlander Theatre languished at around 50 percent capacity through much of the production’s run.
“A lot of nice people on stage and off will be out of work and a lot of good partners and investors will have lost a great deal of money,” producers Emanuel Azenberg and Ira Pittelman said in a joint statement. “They all deserve better. It makes us sad.”
The play’s early demise has also caused producers to halt the upcoming production of its theatrical counterpart, “Broadway Bound.” The second play, bookending Simon’s autobiographical trilogy of aspiring writer Eugene Morris Jerome and his family, was to open at the Nederlander later this month and run in reperatory with “Brighton Beach.”
The two Simon revivals were to have shared much of the same cast. There is no news of how soon the Nederlander will find a replacement for its stage. “Brighton Beach” and “Broadway Bound” were set into an open-ended run, and tickets had been on sale at least through the holidays.