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Reasons Revealed For A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN's Abrupt Off-Broadway Bow

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Reasons Revealed For A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN's Abrupt Off-Broadway Bow

The New York Times has revealed part of the story behind A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN's abrupt cancellation prior to its scheduled off-Broadway run at the Gramercy Theater this month. Producers broke the news to the cast at their final rehearsal on April 8, just two days before the show's reopening downtown.

"I was concerned there wasn't enough time to sell tickets," Broadway and off-Broadway investor Alan Shorr told the Times. A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN closed on Broadway on February 9 and was set to open again on April 10. "There was certainly a risk in moving to the Gramercy; it became about trying to quantify those risks."

Read the original feature here.

The producers cited low ticket sales in their official announcement, but Daniel Chilewich, Todd Gershwin, and Michael Cohl (Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark) refused to comment further. They did, however, release a statement indicating the closure was "in the best interests of our investors/co-producers" and that they were planning a North American tour.

Many of the actors and musicians who had been guaranteed roles in the off-Broadway remount had turned down other opportunities to be in JANIS JOPLIN. There might be a job for them on the tour when it gets off the ground, but until then, they are coping with a show-closing that seems "surreal", in the words of JANIS JOPLIN drummer Mitch Wilson.

The off-Broadway engagement would have arrived at Gramercy Theatre following an engagement at Broadway's Lyceum Theater, where it was hailed by critics and had audiences leaping to their feet and dancing in the aisles. Mary Bridget Davies, who took New York by storm with her critically acclaimed performance as Janis Joplin, was set to reprise her role.

Fueled by such unforgettable songs as "Me and Bobby McGee," "Piece of My Heart," "Mercedes Benz," "Cry Baby" and "Summertime," a remarkable cast and a breakout performance by Davies, A Night With Janis Joplin is a musical journey celebrating Janis and her biggest musical influences-icons like Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Odetta, Nina Simone and Bessie Smith, who inspired one of rock & roll's greatest legends. Written and directed by Randy Johnson, A Night With Janis Joplin is produced by Cohl, Gershwin and Chilewich, in association with The Estate of Janis Joplin and Jeffrey Jampol for JAM, Inc.

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

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