Twyla Tharp’s latest Broadway musical “Come Fly Away” is nearing the end of its run on the Great White Way. Producers announced this week that the show, which pairs Sinatra’s recordings with live singers, will close September 5 after about six months on the boards at Marquis Theatre.
Previews for the production began the first day of March, with the curtain officially rising over the modern dance revue a few weeks later on March 25. Opening night reviews for “Come Fly Away” were generally positive, though several critics noted that the production’s heavy reliance on dance over plot would not appeal to all audiences.
Those positive reviews — and the attention garnered from a couple Tony nominations — carried the show through the end of May. The show was regularly drawing audiences close to 9,000 and saw weekly receipts well within — and sometimes well above — the $850,000 mark.
But flagging ticket sales and steadily declining audiences eventually sealed “Fly’s” fate as the summer months advanced. Attendance has remained below 50 percent capacity in the 1,611-seat Marquis since the start of July. Box office receipts for the week ending July 25 totalled $574,485 with just over 6,300 people in attendance, according to the Broadway League.
Choreographed and directed by Tharp, “Come Fly Away” has earned a total gross of $14.7 million so far during its Broadway stint. But the production could rake in more money from the road next year, when it scheduled to begin a nationwide tour in Chicago in May 2011.
Tharp’s last great success on the road came in the form of her Billy Joel tuner “Movin’ Out,” which ran nationwide for three solid years (2004-2007) with a total of 1,111 performances. The musical was an equal success on Broadway, where it completed 1,303 performances from 2002 to 2005, according to The New York Times.