Hairspray at Luxor to close prematurely this weekend
closes this Sunday, June 11.
Those holding tickets after June 11 will receive full refunds.
The closing does not affect the upcoming movie version of the musical (which itself was originally based on the 1988 John Waters film), which will star John Travolta, Billy Crystal, Queen Latifah, and Amanda Bynes.
Performing at Luxor for just 148 performances, the musical’s end comes just after the May 28 closing of Avenue Q
(after 9 months), raising the question that in a climate of condos, Elvis, and Cirque du Soleil, can musical theater find an audience in Las Vegas? The Tony Award-winning shows originally had open-ended, permanent runs and were expected to herald Broadway theater onto the Strip.
Both shows continue to play Broadway to strong houses. Similarly sized audiences were actually found in Vegas, but in Vegas everything is bigger including the number of theater seats. And theaters were rarely sold to capacity, the measure of a successful show in Las Vegas.
Producers have their game faces on, but will likely be counting the beans closely for upcoming shows Cats
(Aladdin, limited engagement) a new version of Phantom of the Opera (The Venetian, beginning previews June 12), The Producers (Paris, late summer), and Spamalot (Wynn, in 2007).
If those fail to pull in the box office, the much-touted Broadway in Las Vegas could be toes up in tulips.
One advantage Cats
and Phantom have is the brand-name recognition of an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical (Phantom is the longest-running show on Broadway). Still, changes are being made to appeal to what’s perceived as what Las Vegas tourists seek in entertainment: more special effects and a shorter run time.
Even Steve Wynn isn’t standing still. Wynn will pay $15.9 million to purchase rights to Franco Dragone’s currently running Le Reve
(at Wynn)… all so that he can tinker with the show by adding lights and lasers.
appears to be the only successful Broadway import. We Will Rock You, which imitated its formula by centering a musical around the music of Queen, failed to find an audience.