A one-time blockbuster for the Great White Way, Yasmina Reza’s play “God of Carnage” will shutter June 27 after a total of 24 previews and 460 regular performances. The dark comedy moved into Broadway’s Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, where it has been directed by Matthew Warchus, after a critically acclaimed 2008 run in London’s West End.
Billed as a “comedy of manners without the manners,” the production chronicles the not-so-civil meeting of two couples after an altercation between their school-aged sons. It officially opened on Broadway in March 2009 as a limited engagement booked through mid-July. But an A-list cast and weeks of sold-out audiences pushed producers to extend the run through February 2010 before making it open-ended.
Announcing the show’s impending end, producers said in a statement, “We are incredibly proud and thrilled with the success of Yasmina’s brilliant play, Matthew Warchus’ superb direction, and the acting talents of our three amazing casts. ‘God of Carnage’ has delighted thousands of audiences and we couldn’t be happier.”
The original Broadway cast was composed of James Gandolfini and Marcia Gay Harden as spouses Michael and Veronica, opposite Jeff Daniels and Hope Davis as husband-and-wife Alan and Annette.
These principals retained their roles through November 16, after an unusual summer hiatus gave them a break from the stage. During their time with the show, “God of Carnage” drew above-capacity audiences on a weekly basis, and its box office grosses regularly approached or passed the $1 million mark.
It was this “God of Carnage” that received six Tony nominations during the 2009 season, winning titles for Best Play, Leading Actress (Marcia Gay Harden) and Direction (Matthew Warchus).
The mid-November cast switch brought in Jimmy Smits, Christine Lahti, Annie Potts and Ken Stott. The production currently features a returning Daniels (picking up Gandolfini’s role) with Lucy Liu, Dylan Baker and Janet McTeer.
Though the production brought in these A-list replacements for its later stagings, “God of Carnage” has been playing to half-filled audiences, and receipts haven’t broken out of the $300,000s since February. Despite this decline, “God of Carnage” has enjoyed a much lengthier and more profitable run than most other productions that have closed this season.
The closings of “The Miracle Worker” and “All About Me” were announced within a day of each other in late March. Just about a week later, producers also announced the early closing of “Looped”, a bio-play about infamous actress Tallulah Bankhead.
All three productions bowed early due to disappointing box office returns as they struggled to maintain audiences after receiving mixed critical reviews on opening night.
“God of Carnage” is staged Tuesday at 7 p.m. and Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. Matinees run Wednesday and Saturday at 2 p.m., and Sunday at 3 p.m. Ticket prices for the production range from $66.50 to $121.50, depending on the performance date and time. Premium seating is also available at the $176.50 and $251.50 price points.
Jacobs Theatre is located at 242 West 45th Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue in New York, NY. Scheduling and ticketing details are available on the production’s official Web site.