Printer Friendly - Transfers That Flopped


Transfers That Flopped
Posted by ucjrdude902 2012-12-29 10:28:29


I was talking to a friend the other night about the "Matilda" transfer and somehow we got on the discussion of shows that planned transfers, there was a great deal of hype and then they flopped but we couldn't think of any.

Has there ever been a show from the West End to NYC and vice versa that was expected to be a hit and wasn't?

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by aasjb4ever 2012-12-29 10:32:40


The first show that comes to mind is Enron. Hit in London (still running I think?) and an absolute flop in New York. My friends who did see it here loved it, but it was a sore spot for Americans, and so it goes.

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by ljay889 2012-12-29 10:44:50


The Woman In White

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by NOB88 2012-12-29 10:58:20


Ghost?

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by AC126748 2012-12-29 10:58:43


Ghost
Hair
The Drowsy Chaperone

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by Kelly2 2012-12-29 11:04:13


Priscilla would be considered a flop here, yes?

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by sundayclothes2 2012-12-29 11:16:13


Festen

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by Mattbrain 2012-12-29 11:16:44


Sister Act didn't recoup, did it

Definitely Taboo and Tanz der Vampire...oh I'm sorry, Dance of the Vampires.

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by ClapYo'Hands 2012-12-29 11:47:51


Enron closed a while ago in London.

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by SondheimFan5 2012-12-29 11:49:32


Rebecca.

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by Brave Sir Robin2 2012-12-29 23:45:27


Droswy didn't transfer, nor did it flop...

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by nasty_khakis 2012-12-29 23:47:07


Drowsy transferred to the West End (with Elaine Paige) and flopped, big time.

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by metropolis10111 2012-12-29 23:56:30


Taboo

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by DEClarke 2012-12-30 00:16:47


Matilda...

Wait... too soon? I'm just calling it now, the US won't cling to this show.

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by Brave Sir Robin2 2012-12-30 00:19:34


Gotcha. Yeah, lots of musicals seemed to have flopped in the West End: Rent, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and The Producers.

And didn't Chess do well in the West End?

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by CapnHook 2012-12-30 00:56:43


Didnt CHICAGO and AVE Q not do as well in the UK?

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by DEClarke 2012-12-30 01:01:35


It's my understanding that Chess failed here and was a hit in the UK originally.

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by AEA AGMA SM 2012-12-30 01:03:24


"Didnt CHICAGO and AVE Q not do as well in the UK?"

Well, if you count a run of 15 years as not doing well then yes, Chicago did not do as well over in London

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by DEClarke 2012-12-30 01:05:29


And we cannot forget CARRIE. It flopped here after its transfer.

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by Gothampc 2012-12-30 01:05:56


Whistle Down The Wind - maybe it had to do with Boyzone not getting enough airplay on "No Matter What".


eta: WDTW played a few venues in the States, but never made it to Broadway even though they had a theater and publicity was already around NYC.

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by EricMontreal22 2012-12-30 01:57:23


And of course both productions of Whistle that played in the US (Hal prince's and the later UK tour) were very different from Edwards' production (which I really enjoyed) in London.

Woman in White was hardly a huge hit in the UK (did it run a year?).

Aspects of Love of course did much better in London. Pippin was a huge flop in the 70s in London (Fosse never seemed to have a ton of success in London--when Chicago opened there in the 70s it wasn't even his production--and didn't do well).

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by bwayphreak234 2012-12-30 02:02:37


Movin' Out flopped in London.

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by perfectlymarvelous 2012-12-30 02:39:51


Did Blood Brothers ever recoup on Broadway? I know it ran 2 years here but it ran for decades in London...not exactly a horrible flop but not nearly as successful as the West End production.

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by Brave Sir Robin2 2012-12-30 02:51:10


Avenue Q ran for five years on the West End :) and I was just going to mention Movin' Out in the UK. Only two months. Ouch.

Fosse only lasted a year in the West End. Ragtime lasted less than. I know it was not a financial hit in the US, but it's a popular show.

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by EricMontreal22 2012-12-30 03:01:28


Ragtime was a closed run though wasn't it, at the Donmar? Or was there an open ended West End run?

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by EricMontreal22 2012-12-30 03:01:57


Sweney Todd didn't do well in its initial London production

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by bobs3 2012-12-30 03:31:34


In the 1985, they brought "La Cage aux Folles" to London with George Hearn and Denis Quilley (a British musical comedy star) where it bombed.

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by TheHappyPhantom 2012-12-30 04:27:33


I don't remember Drowsy Chaperone flopping. It should have, it's awful. But I think it was a hit.

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by EricMontreal22 2012-12-30 06:09:29


No, Drowsy Chaperone closed much earlier than expected.

I wonder about definitions. For me a transfer is when the original production is transfered--not a new production with a different director some years later (like with Ragtime).

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by bobs3 2012-12-30 06:12:08


Despite having Elaine Paige in the title role and receiving decent reviews THE DROWSY CHAPERONE closed in less than three months.

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by AnythingGoes23 2012-12-30 07:02:49


Drowsy was a big flop in London sadly mainly to do with producers and marketing. Hair only lasted 5 months when it was hoped to do a year.

Woman in White was a flop on both sides, it was only due to Palace in London beng controlled by Webber that it survived in London longer. Sister Act too never made money in London.

Anyway I believe the question was London to Broadway flops? Starlight, Chess, Chitty, Bombay Dreams....

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by mar6411 2012-12-30 07:20:28


No it wasn't.

From the original post:

Has there ever been a show from the West End to NYC and vice versa that was expected to be a hit and wasn't?

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by AnythingGoes23 2012-12-30 07:37:45


Ah, stand corrected!

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by AnythingGoes23 2012-12-30 07:37:53


Ah, stand corrected!

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by After Eight 2012-12-30 08:12:58


Hit British farces like No Sex Please, We're British and Run for Your Wife flopped on Broadway.

It might be interesting to consider hit shows from other countries that did not do well in New York.

Here are a few:

France- Nina, The Good Soup, Moonbirds, Patate, Traveller Without Luggage, Mademoiselle Colombe, Poor Bitos, The Enchanted, Pajama Tops, Boeing-Boeing (original Broadway production)
Spain- Song of the Grasshopper
Italy- Rugantino
Poland- Metro
Switzerland- The Physicists

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by Skywalker3 2012-12-30 09:19:50


Spring Awakening was a flop in London!
Only 3 months

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by DEClarke 2012-12-30 09:29:48


AnythingGoes23, BOMBAY DREAMS was a disaster in NYC. I think a lot of that has to do with the MAJOR changes made to the show before it opened in NYC. They cut the runtime way down and added two characters that were American tourists to the show, The tourist characters explained tidbits about Indian culture to the audience who producers felt like may not get the show.

The US National Tour faired better though. The show only ran about 105 minutes (that includes the 18 minute intermission). Most importantly, the US tourists were cut.

I would love to see the UK version in its 3 hour glory. I love Indian culture and Bollywood films, so naturally this piece is one that I love. I only ever saw the US Tour. I wish a DVD (not the behind-the-scenes one) of the US Tour or preferably of the UK version existed. I'd love to see the show again and again.

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by DottieD'Luscia 2012-12-30 09:42:46


Didn't Coram Boy fare much better on the West End than it did on Broadway?

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by NotAnotherSN 2012-12-30 11:21:27


On Spring Awakening:

It was actually a huge surprise that it closed so quickly on the West End. Critics loved it but it simply never found an audience. I think there were a lot of preconceived notions about what the show was supposed to be with the music. Either way, it wound up faring pretty well come awards season.

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by bdn223 2012-12-30 11:37:47


Although Spring Awakening was technically a flop in the West End , the flop is not akin to that of RENT, The Drowsey Chaparone, and the Hair revival. Spring Awakening played a small venue outside of the West End for a month. Instead of announcing a transfer after receiving excellent reviews with the West End transfer already a lock to happen within a week or two of the out of town tryout, the producers decided to annouce the West End transfer at the closing performance. From my knowledge the out of town tryout was sold out with several people clammoring for ticket, just waiting on the annoucement of a transfer, but by the time of the announcement excitment had cooled because fans had lost hope for a transfer. The producers created maybe one or two weeks of presales opportunity for Spring Awakening causing abismal future sales, so by the time it opened in the West End less than a month later, despite opening to glowing reviews no one knew about the show and it could never regain the momentum in sales during its out of town tryout. That is also why after Spring Awakening won the Olivier for Best Musical over 6 months after closing there was talk of a West End revival because people had no idea what the show was and wanted to see it.

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by GlindatheGood22 2012-12-30 11:58:33


Wow. I'd forgotten Spring Awakening even went to the West End.

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by Princeton Returns 2012-12-30 12:09:28


The Producers didn't flop in the West End, but the UK tour was a bit of a flop (except when Peter Kay was in it).

As has been said Avenue Q did well in London and has had two successful UK tours

Wasn't Movin Out a filler anyway before Wicked came in?

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by Jonwo 2012-12-30 12:38:45


Movin' Out was a limited 16 week run between the closure of Saturday Night Fever and the opening of Wicked but it only did 2 months. It was totally the wrong theatre for the show.

The Producers had a good run of 2 years in London although I can't remember if it recouped or not? I think it did but I wonder would had it lasted a bit longer had they opted for a smaller theatre although at the time, there weren't available.

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by SNAFU 2012-12-30 14:20:16


Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by songanddanceman2 2012-12-30 14:33:01


Rent wasn't really a flop, it ran over a year and half and did well on tour and played another limited engagement in London. It was not the runaway hit that it was in NY but it did OK.....now Rent Remixed on the other hand

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by EricMontreal22 2012-12-31 04:43:55


Yeah I was wondering if the poster meant Rent Remixed. I saw the original UK rent in August of 1999 (I think a bit over a year after it opened), and the theatre seemed near full (I was in the balcony, err, mezzanine as you Americans call it), with the typical RentHeads at the front of the orchestra and a pretty enthusiastic reaction. I knew it wasn't a big hit (though did it recoup?) but I wouldn't place it with Spring Awakening, etc.

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by shomeika 2012-12-31 09:48:38


Ghost comes to mind...and I feel uneasy about The Bodyguard (psychic prediction).

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by The Scorpion 2012-12-31 09:49:22


Festen was a hit in London (though I'm not sure what the audience/critics saw in it) but I believe it flopped in New York.

I don't think Blood Brothers did well Stateside. The original run didn't do that well in London either, but the revival ran for two decades.

From other countries, in recent memory Tanz der Vampire and the most recent Superstar revival flopped on Broadway.

As for Bombay Dreams, I'm not sure it could be considered a hit in London. It ran a year or so IIRC. I don't think it recouped but I could be wrong. Then ALW closed it down and said he wanted to incorporate the changes made for Broadway into the London production (à la Sunset) but it never re-opened again.

Re Aspects, it definitely recouped in London and made a small profit. The Broadway outing was disastrous, though. And yes, Woman in White flopped on both sides of the Atlantic.

In terms of critical, rather than financial, success, the Evita revival was pretty much adored by the London critics but received rather harsh reviews on Broadway. I wonder which production will have made more money. The London one ran for longer but it didn't have the box office power of Ricky Martin.

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by everythingtaboo 2012-12-31 11:10:18


DEClarke, in Bombay Dreams those two tourists were discussed early on, but never made to the final book. That said, it did flop, though I'm a fan of both versions of the show.

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by Jonwo 2012-12-31 12:42:00


Evita in London ran almost a year but I don't know if it recouped. Bombay Dreams did two years in London but I think it did recoup or was near recouping.

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by Mister Matt 2012-12-31 15:10:47


From what I remember, The Full Monty, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Tommy and City of Angels didn't do well in London. And La Bete never found footing on Broadway. I do wish Lincoln Center had picked up the National productions of Cloudstreet and Frankenstein.

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by bobs3 2012-12-31 15:21:34


Because THE FULL MONTY film was such a big hit in the UK, audiences couldn't take to the Americanized musical. I think if they had revised the book for the UK (i.e., Yorkshire setting and accents, and Patricia Routledge would have made a wonderfully funny Jeanette).

Transfers That Flopped
Posted by Rainbowhigh23 2012-12-31 15:23:31


"Ghost comes to mind...and I feel uneasy about The Bodyguard (psychic prediction)."

Shomeika, I agree with you. The producers behind Ghost and Evita had some very deep pockets, and I feel the same fate for The Bodyguard.

Evita was performed much better in London, Elena's voice in finer form, and it was nice to have a show that wasn't star cast.