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HomeHealth and LifestyleAfter a Brief Run, ‘Tommy’ Revival to Close on Broadway

After a Brief Run, ‘Tommy’ Revival to Close on Broadway

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A Broadway revival of “The Who’s Tommy” that opened in March will end its run on July 21. The show had started strong at the box office but was facing dwindling sales during a summer when Broadway is packed with shows but still has fewer patrons than before the pandemic.

The production, which had a successful pre-Broadway run in Chicago, will now pin its hopes on a national tour, beginning in Providence, R.I., in the fall of 2025.

With a rock score by Pete Townshend, “Tommy” dates back to a 1969 album from the Who; the original Broadway production opened in 1993 and ran for a little more than two years.

Set in London, the show has a wild plot: A young man who loses the ability to hear, speak and see in response to childhood trauma develops a gift for pinball that allows him to attract a cultlike following.

The revival began its life last year at the Goodman Theater in Chicago; the Broadway production began previews on March 8 and opened on March 28 at the Nederlander Theater. Throughout April, it was grossing $1 million a week, but ticket sales have been softening since; last week, the show grossed $795,000.

At the time of its closing, the revival will have played 20 previews and 132 regular performances on Broadway.

Des McAnuff, who directed the original production, returned to direct the revival. Townshend and McAnuff collaborated on the show’s book.

The revival, starring Ali Louis Bourzgui in the title role, scored mostly positive reviews, but The New York Times, which can have an outsize influence, was an outlier: Jesse Green, its chief theater critic, characterized the show as featuring “relentless noise and banal imagery.”

The production was nominated for a Tony Award for best musical revival but lost to “Merrily We Roll Along.”

“Tommy,” with Stephen Gabriel and Ira Pittelman as lead producers, was capitalized for $15.7 million, according to a spokesman. That money has not been recouped.

The show is the third musical to announce a closing since the start of May, following “Lempicka” and “The Heart of Rock and Roll.”

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