As musicals continue to break records, straight plays are struggling – with Sally Field-starring The Glass Menagerie the latest casualty of the season.
Joe Mantello and Sally Field in The Glass Menagerie, which is set to close early after limited box office. (Photograph: Julieta Cervantes)
Tom, the narrator of Tennessee Williams’s The Glass Menagerie, has tricks in his pocket and things up his sleeve. What he doesn’t have: a way to abracadabra the Broadway revival of The Glass Menagerie out of an early close.
Sam Gold’s divisive production, flouting tradition with its bare design and its controversial casting – an older Tom, a disabled Laura – has had its detractors and its defenders but it hasn’t had much box office. Last week it made only 30% of its potential gross, selling just over 65% of its seats.
When it closes on 21 May, it won’t be the season’s first casualty. That dubious honor went to the dour Broadway revival of Les Liaisons Dangereuses. A new play, Joshua Harmon’s Significant Other, also closed early. The other straight plays this season that have closed or will soon close, like Heisenberg and The Present with Cate Blanchett, lasted out their limited runs.