“Bad Cinderella,” a revisionist riff on the classic fairy tale, will end June 4, at least for the time being, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 43-year-long streak of shows on Broadway.
The latest musical, which opened March 23, wasn’t the pinnacle of that career—it was greeted by hostile reviews on Broadway, received zero Tony nominations and struggled at the box office. Last week it played to houses that were only 54 percent full and grossed only $326,303, making it the lowest-grossing musical on Broadway.
It fared slightly better in London, and not just because “bad” was not part of the title there—critics viewed it more favorably when it opened in the West End after several pandemic-related delays, but in There was only a minor run and a finale due to the way the cast was informed and the few words used by Lloyd Webber to describe the turn of events.
Like most of the Cinderella stories, the musical is about a shabby maiden whose fortunes change when she meets a prince. The twist in this production is that the protagonist is a rebel, Prince Charming is gay, and beauty standards are oppressive.
In addition to music by Lloyd Webber, best known as the wildly successful composer of hit musicals such as “Cats,” “Evita” and “The Phantom of the Opera,” the musical features a book by Emerald Fennell (Oscar- Is. winning screenwriter of “Promising Young Woman”) and then adapted by playwright Alexis Scheer (“Our Dear Dead Drug Lord”), and with lyrics by David Zippel (who had hired Tony years earlier to write the lyrics for “City of Angels”). had won). “Bad Cinderella” is directed by Lawrence Connor, who previously found greater success directing Lloyd Webber’s 2015 musical, “School of Rock.”
According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, “Bad Cinderella” was capitalized to $19 million; That money has not been recovered. The main producer of the musical is Christine Schwarzman, an attorney; Together she and her husband, Blackstone billionaire Stephen A. Schwarzman is a major player in New York financial and philanthropic circles. Christine Schwarzman has become increasingly active as a producer on Broadway through her production company, No Guarantees; She is also a lead producer of “Fat Ham”, which won the Pulitzer Prize in Drama and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play.
At the time of its conclusion, “Bad Cinderella” will have played 33 preview performances and 85 regular performances.