“Sweat,” Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning and Tony Award-nominated play about the woes of the American working class, will close on Broadway later this month — the latest victim of a crowded season in which many plays have struggled at the box office.
Ms. Nottage’s play, her debut on Broadway, is scheduled to close June 25, after 24 previews and 105 regular performances. It transferred to Studio 54 this spring after a critically lauded run Off Broadway at the Public Theater.
With no celebrity cast members, “Sweat” largely depended on its prestige — Ms. Nottage had previously won a Pulitzer for “Ruined,” and the play had enjoyed early critical success at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. — for commercial viability on Broadway.
But while musicals like “Hello, Dolly!” and “Hamilton” regularly sell more than 100 percent of their gross potential, plays tend to have a harder time. On Tuesday the producers of “Six Degrees of Separation” announced that it would close on June 18, after the most recent box-office figures showed that it was earning less than 30 percent of its gross potential.
In the week ending June 11 — the week in which “Sweat” was up for three Tony Awards, including best play, but won none — the production brought in $302,039, up from $275,958 the week before but still only 46 percent of its potential.
Paula Vogel’s “Indecent,” another Tony nominee written by a Pulitzer-winner, similarly struggled, earning 30 percent of its potential. The other nominees fared better: Lucas Hnath’s “A Doll’s House, Part 2,” which stars the Tony winner Laurie Metcalf, brought in about 74 percent of its potential, and “Oslo,” which won the Tony for best play, earned 60 percent.
Continue reading the main story