On June 21, over a dozen members of the cast of the Broadway musical Shuffle Along were honored as the best chorus on Broadway at the headquarters of Actors’ Equity. Two days later, just before they took to the stage, they learned that the musical would be ending on July 24.
Reason for Decision to Close Shuffle Along
The show is closing even though it has been generating almost a million dollars per week in ticket sales. The decision was made because the show’s best-known star, six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald, is beginning maternity leave on July 24 and sales had fallen significantly since the announcement of her departure.
McDonald had been planning to take a break from Shuffle Along this summer to perform for three months at Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill in London. Her maternity leave would have been twice as long and would have started a month later. Shuffle Along would have had to go on without her in the fall and winter.
Reaction to the News
McDonald, other cast members, and Rhiannon Giddens, who was supposed to replace McDonald, were devastated by the news. Many people on Broadway and fans of the musical criticized the decision to close it, citing its success, popularity with fans, and contribution to African American theater.
Scott Rudin, Shuffle Along’s lead producer, said that because of McDonald’s anticipated long hiatus, the show would have been forced to operate at a loss for longer than it could absorb responsibly.
Get Tickets to Shuffle Along before It Closes
You can still get tickets to see Shuffle Along at the Music Box Theatre in New York before it closes on July 24. Order tickets today from On Broadway.
Tue June 28 @ 7:00 PM
Wed June 29 @ 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM
Thu June 30 @ 7:00 PM
Fri July 1 @ 8:00 PM
Sat July 2 @ 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM
Sun July 3 @ 3:00 PM
Tue July 5 @ 7:00 PM
Wed July 6 @ 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM
Thu July 7 @ 7:00 PM
Fri July 8 @ 8:00 PM
Sat July 9 @ 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM
Sun July 10 @ 3:00 PM
Tue July 12 @ 7:00 PM
Wed July 13 @ 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM
Thu July 14 @ 7:00 PM
Fri July 15 @ 8:00 PM
Sat July 16 @ 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM
Sun July 17 @ 3:00 PM
Tue July 19 @ 7:00 PM
Wed July 20 @ 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM
Thu July 21 @ 7:00 PM
Fri July 22 @ 8:00 PM
Sat July 23 @ 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM
Sun July 24 @ 3:00 PM