Godspell to close 24 Jun, unless sales increase

Producer Ken Davenport has written on his blog that unless ticket sales increase the Broadway revival of Stephen Schwartz's Godspell will play its final performance on 24 Jun 2012. The show has struggled recently, with house capacity last week at only 52%.

Davenport wrote, "Godspell has a heck of a lot riding on that Tony performance, as well as tourist traffic over the next couple of weeks. If I don't see a sizable uptick in sales? Well, in that case . . . Godspell may close on Sunday, June 24th. Is that a definite? Nope."

It is mere speculation, but the show may make an ideal candidate for a transition from Broadway to Off-Broadway. 'Avenue Q,' 'Million Dollar Quartet' and 'The 39 steps' all had a continued existence Off-Broadway, after their Broadway run came to an end. Davenport, who is also a successful Off-Broadway producer, may well consider such an option.

Godspell opened at the Circle in the Square on 7 Nov 2011, following previews from 13 Oct 2011, where it is currently booking through to 6 Jan 2013.

The show opened to mixed reviews: It's entertainment, not great theatre (newyorktheatreguide); Brightly colorful & sticky-sweet (NYP); The show's warm heart manages to glow through the glitz (Back Stage); A show for the ADD generation (Record); Surprisingly irresistible (NY1).

Godspell currently stars Corbin Bleu (Jesus), Telly Leung, Uzo Aduba, Nick Blaemire, Morgan James, Wallace Smith (Judas), Hannah Elless, Celisse Henderson, Anna Maria Perez de Tagle and George Salazar.

Godspell is a modern-day version of the gospel of Matthew. John the Baptist calls a group of young disciples to leave their daily lives and follow Jesus the Christ. Jesus explains the gospel to his followers, leading them in acting out the parables using song, mime and comedy.

Godspell features music and new lyricss by Academy and Grammy Award winner and six time Tony Award nominee Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin), which includes recognizable songs, such as "Day by Day", that have become staples of both the American musical theatre and popular culture alike.

The Broadway revival reunites director Daniel Goldstein (Boradway debut) and choreographer Christopher Gattelli (Tony Award-winner: South Pacific), and the creative team of the critically-acclaimed 2006 Paper Mill Playhouse production of Godspell.

The musical features scenic design by David Korins (Passing Strange, Bridge and Tunnel), costume design by Miranda Hoffman (Well), lighting design by Ben Stanton (Angels in America) and orchestrations by Michael Holland (Hurricane).

The original production of Godspell opened off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theatre on 13 May 1971 and in August of 1971 moved to the larger Promenade Theatre where it ran for 2,124 performances making it one of the longest running Off-Broadway musicals in history.

After five years of sold-out audiences Off-Broadway, Godspell made its Broadway debut on 22 Jun 1976 at the Broadhurst Theatre. The show moved to the Plymouth and the Ambassador before closing on 4 Sep 1977 after 527 performances. In all, the musical achieved more than 2,600 performances both on Broadway and off.

Corbin Bleu as Jesus in Godspell

Originally published on

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