The Great White Way will suffer another early shuttering this season due to disappointing box office receipts. Lyceum Theatre’s staging of “Looped,” the Tallulah Bankhead bio-play starring Valerie Harper, will close on April 11.
The announcement surfaced midday on April 5 along with box office numbers for the previous week and just-ended weekend. Receipts for the week were just $168,351, while attendance was stagnant with the 916-seat house at a bare 51 percent average capacity, according to the Broadway League’s reports.
The play had been booked into an open-ended run at the Lyceum, but ever since it began previews on February 19, “Looped” struggled to gain a foothold on Broadway. Weekly receipts were regularly below $180,000 and average capacity only briefly pushed above the 60 percent mark late in previews.
The media largely praised Harper for her turn as the notorious Bankhead. But the play by Matthew Lombardo, adapted from recordings of a disastrous studio looping session with Harper, did not fare as well among legit critics who gave mixed reviews for its opening night on March 14.
Ultimately, the play was a disappointment for producers who made the call to shutter “Looped” after a total of 27 previews and 25 regular performances.
“Looped” is just the latest casualty of a spring theater season that has been deadly for new productions. “The Miracle Worker” and “All About Me” closed on April 4 after their own limited runs on Broadway were stilted by weak sales and mixed reviews.
For legit houses hosting now-cancelled or just-closed runs, the next challenge is finding a new tenant to fill the remaining months between now and the originally planned close-dates.
No firm plans have been announced for the Lyceum, nor for former “Miracle Worker” and “All About Me” stages, Circle in the Square Theatre and Henry Miller’s Theatre. According to Playbill, the latter two houses were eyed but ultimately rejected by “The Scottsboro Boys,” a current Off-Broadway production hoping to edge onto Broadway this season.
But for the cast and creative team behind “Looped,” there might still be life beyond the Great White Way. A new report from Variety speculated that the play could be bound for a national tour. The publication cited a representative for the show who said that a tour could potentially kick off in Toronto, but has not been confirmed yet.