What went wrong with ‘Motown: The Musical’?
Despite an ambitious relaunch last week, ‘Motown: The Musical’ is now coming to a quick, crashing halt. The show originally planned for an 18-week run into November, though the revamped musical will now be terminated on July 31st thanks to lackluster sales.
The first showing was July 12th, with a run of roughly two weeks.
Actually, ‘Motown: The Musical’ enjoyed a stellar run starting in 2013, with more than 738 Broadway shows running into early 2015. This was an attempt to recapture that magic, with ambitious plans announced by the show’s producers:
“We promised that the hit show would return to New York following the profitable engagement that finished on Broadway in January 2015. Now, after the launch of a record-breaking London company and a hugely successful, sold-out First National Tour, we are delighted that this amazing company of actors and musicians has been able to bring the production full circle back to Broadway where the production began, for the final stop of the tour.”
The ‘First National Tour’ was a broader, post-Broadway tour across America, though returning to the Big Apple was apparently a misread. Perhaps New Yorkers and Broadway tourists have moved on, with enough empty seats to prompt the curt closure.
‘Motown: The Musical’ chronicles Berry Gordy’s historic imprint on music, and is stuffed with music by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, and the Jackson Five, just to name a few. Indeed, Gordy helped to shuttle an entire cast of musical greats across color barriers, while declaring his business to be ‘green’ rather than black or white.
According to details tracked by the Broadway League for the week ending July 17th, Motown sold a total of $424,198 worth of tickets. Sounds good, except that total sales potential for all available seats topped $1,158,560. Roughly 71 percent of seats were filled during that week.