Big in New York, Flop in London (and vice versa?)


joined:1/1/70

joined:
1/1/70
Whatare some of the biggest examples of shows that were successful in New York but flops in London, and vice versa? Specifically I'm thinking of shows thatplayed both cities in the same production--so weren't reworked much or anything between cities.

It always seemed that, until the Chicago revival, London didn't really take to Bob Fosse. Sweet Charity with Prowse was a minor hit but even less so than New York, I've read Pippin was an utter flop in London (I can't even fidn out when it ran or who was in it) and then when London first got a Chicago they didn't even get the Fosse production (and it flopped).
CapnHook Profile PhotoCapnHook Profile Photo
CapnHook
Broadway Legend
joined:5/12/03
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/12/03
RENT and AVENUE Q weren't as successful in the UK -- but both of those shows were tweaked.
"The Spectacle has, indeed, an emotional attraction of its own, but, of all the parts, it is the least artistic, and connected least with the art of poetry. For the power of Tragedy, we may be sure, is felt even apart from representation and actors. Besides, the production of spectacular effects depends more on the art of the stage machinist than on that of the poet."
--Aristotle
Broadway Legend
joined:1/1/70
Broadway Legend
joined:
1/1/70
I saw Rent in '99 in London and it was, I thought, virtually the New York production. AM I wrong? It closed a year or two later--so ti ran 2 or more years (3 or more?) but nowhere the US run--still I';m sure it recouped and there were rentheads when I went (unfortunately :P )

Maybe you mean the recent Rent Remixed fiasco of a flop by Kylie Minogue's designer/concert director, William Baker?
legallysam Profile Photolegallysam Profile Photo
legallysam
Broadway Legend
joined:5/8/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/8/08
Rent and Rent Remixed both flopped in London. I wouldn't say that Avenue Q is flopping here in London. Maybe it's not taken off as much as it did in NY but i'd say it's doing pretty well.

Thoroughly Modern Millie didn't do well here at all!
"Rock Of Ages is about as original as gay men at a clap clinic" - SANDM2
Broadway Legend
joined:1/1/70
Broadway Legend
joined:
1/1/70
I wasure Rent ran over 2 years... Maybe it closed soona fter I saw it then--anyone have the dates?
DeNada
Broadway Star
joined:7/7/07
Broadway Star
joined:
7/7/07
Ones I can think of, mostly recent:

- Spring Awakening (only really because of the West End transfer)
- Sweeney Todd (ran three months in 1980)
- Drowsy Chaperone

Other way round:

- Coram Boy (big hit at the National)
- Starlight Express
- Sunset Boulevard (London turned a profit, Broadway never did)
andymacca Profile Photoandymacca Profile Photo
andymacca
Stand-by
joined:5/28/07
Stand-by
joined:
5/28/07
RENT in London ran at the Shaftesbury from May 98 to Oct 99 and whilst this isnt anywhere near the success seen in NYC I dont necessarily think it can be called a flop. 15 months is a fair run.
Stand-by
joined:1/1/70
Stand-by
joined:
1/1/70
I forgot abotu Sweeney Todd--that's a rather infamous one. I didn't realize either that Spring Awakening had already opened and closed in the West End--how long did that run?


I saw Rent in London in Aug 99 then--it was still selling well so I'm surprised it closed so soon after.

Aspects of Love was a moderate hit in the UK and a massive flop in New York in the same production, wasn't it? Woman in White wa a big US flop as well, but I seem to remember it had an ok (sorta) run in the UK... hrmm
goodoneinlou2
Stand-by
joined:5/29/09
Stand-by
joined:
5/29/09
I've heard that the original production of Grease on Broadway was such a hit that it had to change theatres to hold a larger audience. However when the original production opened a year later in London (with Richard Gere as Danny Zuko... Gere was Barry Bostwick's understudy on Broadway.) it was an utter flop lasting only like 200 performances. It even had Elaine Paige in the cast as Sandy during the run.

I suppose you could consider Mary Poppins in London a flop, but the Broadway production seems to have outlasted it. Not sure on actual timeframes but *seems* way more successful on Broadway.

Starlight Express ran for eons in London... not so much in the US. That could be said about other ALW shows too.





Updated On: 9/24/09 at 08:41 AM
brochatkid Profile Photobrochatkid Profile Photo
brochatkid
Stand-by
joined:5/10/08
Stand-by
joined:
5/10/08
Chess was big in London. A flop here.
DeNada
Broadway Star
joined:7/7/07
Broadway Star
joined:
7/7/07
Spring Awakening ran for about four months in total, including the run at the Lyric in Hammersmith. It closed at the end of May.

brochatkid, Chess on Broadway was a completely different script, let alone physical production, from the London production. You're right that it was pretty successful here, though.

Poppins made a profit in London but not a huge one, from what I understand. It ran for just over three years (more if you include the Bristol try-out), and the show's only just reached the three year milestone on Broadway (opened end of 2006). I'm sure it's been more successful on Broadway, but not massively so.

The RUG shows are tricky. I have no idea if Woman in White made any money here (although we all know it was a disaster on Broadway); I wouldn't have thought so given the length of the run.
whatever2
Broadway Legend
joined:8/25/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
8/25/06
Bombay Dreams?

Not quite a runaway in London, but definitely "big"; not quite a flop in NY (ran for 8 months), but definitely not a success.
"You, sir, are a moron." (PlayItAgain)
Broadway Legend
joined:1/1/70
Broadway Legend
joined:
1/1/70
Yeah my original intentinw as when they were the same, or virtually the same production--so Chess doesn't count (it ran 2 or 3 eyars in London?) Bombay Dreams was revised for Broadway too wasn't it? (of course this threadis general--so feel free to open it upto shows that had DIFFERENT productions over the sea and flopped :P )

Re my original listing, does anyone knowwhat the run of Pippin was in London? And how long did Chorus Line run--I know ti was a success but not on the Broadway level
Texas Yankee Profile PhotoTexas Yankee Profile Photo
Texas Yankee
Swing
joined:9/9/09
Swing
joined:
9/9/09
Were Taboo and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang hits in London? They were notorious flops when they transferred to Broadway.
sanda Profile Photosanda Profile Photo
sanda
Broadway Legend
joined:11/10/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
11/10/04
City of Angels

What a shame!
HollyGolightly2 Profile PhotoHollyGolightly2 Profile Photo
HollyGolightly2
Broadway Star
joined:7/27/09
Broadway Star
joined:
7/27/09
Pretty sure Thoroughly Modern Millie and Drowsy Chaperone had very weak runs in the West End.
roseaddams Profile Photoroseaddams Profile Photo
roseaddams
Broadway Star
joined:6/19/06
Broadway Star
joined:
6/19/06
Eric -- according to the Wikipedia (so take this with a grain of salt =D) Pippin opened at Her Majesty's Theatre on October 30, 1973 and ran for 85 performances.

A Chorus Line in London had a fairly successful run. I don't know if it turned a profit, but it ran from July 22, 1976 through March 31, 1979. And fun fact -- Petra Siniawski, the London Cassie, is the only Cassie ever (well, in a Bennett production anyway =)) who didn't wear a red costume -- she wore a blue leotard onstage.
"You mean what was the best picture of the year or what did they pick as the best picture of the year?" - California Suite
philly03 Profile Photophilly03 Profile Photo
philly03
Broadway Legend
joined:9/20/07
Broadway Legend
joined:
9/20/07
"The RUG shows are tricky. I have no idea if Woman in White made any money here (although we all know it was a disaster on Broadway); I wouldn't have thought so given the length of the run."

I remember reading an article that interviewed Sonia Friedman and she talked about how the London production would have been the most expensive of them all - most of the production costs for the images/etc. were put on that budget, not the New York (besides resizing minimal technical work / etc.); However, I don't remember it maing a profit in London just ran a whole year later.
Justin D Profile PhotoJustin D Profile Photo
Justin D
Broadway Legend
joined:4/11/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
4/11/05
What about Blood Brothers? was that changed up for Broadway?
http://www.flickr.com/photos/27199361@N08/ Phantom at the Royal Empire Theatre
Gothampc
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/03
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/20/03
The Mousetrap. I don't know if that actually fits the criteria. It's never played on Broadway and I'm not sure if there ever was a professional off-Broadway production.

Whistle Down The Wind. I don't know that I would call it "big" in London, but it has had a production and a revival. However, despite securing a theater and putting up advertising, it has never played Broadway. It had a tour of the US trying to get to Broadway, but not successful in coming to NY.
If anyone ever tells you that you put too much Parmesan cheese on your pasta, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
gustof777 Profile Photogustof777 Profile Photo
gustof777
Broadway Legend
joined:6/8/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/8/04
Festen
RIP Natasha Richardson. ~You were a light on this earth ~
muscle23ftl Profile Photomuscle23ftl Profile Photo
muscle23ftl
Broadway Legend
joined:12/19/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
12/19/04
I think that Millie was also a flop on Broadway unfortunately. Bombay Dreams ran for 9 months if we count the previews, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
Festen also flopped despite having a starry cast lead by Julianna Marguiles and wonderful performances.
"People have their opinions and that doesn't mean that their opinions are wrong or right. I just take it with a grain of salt because opinions are like as*holes, everyone has one". -Felicia Finley-
snarkywannabedreamer Profile Photosnarkywannabedreamer Profile Photo
snarkywannabedreamer
Leading Actor
joined:2/12/09
Leading Actor
joined:
2/12/09
Wasn't "We Will Rock You" huge over there too?
Sant
Broadway Legend
joined:9/12/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
9/12/04
THE PRODUCERS - huge hit in New York but not that successful in London. Don't know if it recouped the investments in London though.

SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE - ran for years in New York but not as long in London.


Jonwo
Broadway Legend
joined:3/16/06
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/16/06
The Producers ran for just over two years in London which is pretty decent considering it was at The Theatre Royal Drury Lane which is a barn of a theatre. Chitty was very successful in London and the longest running show at the London Palladium.