David Byrne and Fatboy Slim‘s immersive disco musical Here Lies Love is ending its run on Broadway this month after 149 regular performances and 33 previews. The show’s producers announced that Sunday, November 26 will be its final show at Broadway Theatre, and shared a statement. “When we started this journey to bring this bold and original work to Broadway,” it reads, “we asked ourselves: Can anyone produce on Broadway in a new way? Is there a new path forward? What does the template look like? Will audiences want something radically new? Who will those audiences be?”
“We have learned a great deal about the answers to those questions,” the statement continues. “Yes, new ways can work. Artistic excellence can be achieved. But the reality is, succeeding on Broadway means not only producing excellent work with artistic merit — it also means creating the audience for it. And how much time it takes to find and grow new audiences is out of sync with the tight timeframes for audience-building and awareness.”
Like many other new Broadway productions, the show struggled with ticket sales; a recent Washington Post feature said it was “struggling to stay alive,” with weekly running costs exceeding weekly box-office take. Robert Wankel, chairman and chief executive of the Shubert Organization, told the Washington Post, “all of the new musicals are struggling,” continuing, “we still haven’t had back all of our audience, and that doesn’t help.”
Here Lies Love was originally staged at NYC’s Public Theatre in 2013, and has a successful run there in 2014 and 2015. Ahead of its run at the Broadway Theatre, the production came under fire with the Broadway Musicians Union for its use of pre-recorded tracks rather than live musicians, and eventually came to a hiring agreement to feature 12 musicians.