The bright lights of Broadway and the sheer volume of hit musicals you can find here here may lead you to believe that every show that is previewed and performed in these New York theaters becomes a smashing success. Producers and investors certainly wish this were the case, but the reality is that several shows have flopped and lost money over the years. It doesn’t matter if a work is completely original or if it’s an adaptation of a book or movie. Appearing on Broadway is no guarantee that a musical will do well.
Stephen King’s “Carrie” is one example of a work that was adapted for Broadway and failed to meet expectations. Despite the amount invested and string of 16 previews, “Carrie: The Musical” lost about $8 million of the money invested in it. “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” was another Broadway adaptation that seemed promising but ultimately flopped. “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” the musical was previewed four times, but despite excellent advance ticket sales, it was never performed.
These two adaptations didn’t meet expectations, and several original works have also succumbed to the same fate on Broadway. “Via Galactica,” for example, was perhaps too original. This work was so complicated that a synopsis had to be included in each playbill. The musical was previewed 15 times and performed seven times. The show cost almost $1 million to produce in 1972 and was a grave disappointment for its 62 investors. Learn more about these and other flops on Broadway in the infographic below.
A visit to New York is not complete without experiencing a Broadway Musical. My favourite all time has been Phantom of the Opera, but there are dozens more that I want to see! Have you been to New York or seen a musical that just didn’t wow you? I would love to hear about it!