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Amount of notice a show is likely to give before closing?

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Kitsune
Broadway Star
joined:12/29/06
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12/29/06

I currently live in northern California, and occasionally come to the east coast to see family.  I'm finding myself really getting into Groundhog Day.  I saw the show on Monday the 17th and really fell in love (I realize that reactions to GHD around here range the spectrum, and for what it's worth I'm on the "love it" end. To each their own. *shrug*)

Anyway, I realize that unless the grosses really change, the Broadway production is probably not long for this world.  I'm considering making another trip to New York around Labor Day to see it a second time.  If I did so, I'd also probably try to see Bandstand and a few other shows that look likely to close and may not ever tour in California.

It sounds like shows often give about 1-2 weeks notice before closing.  For something like Groundhog Day (which is not doing great but isn't shuttering a month after opening a la Amelie), how much notice are we likely to get?   As an out-of-towner, I need to buy plane tickets and give *some* notice to work for taking a long weekend.

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The Distinctive Baritone
Broadway Legend
joined:8/28/04
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The producers technically have to give at least ten days notice or something like that to the cast to avoid paying them for performances they are not going to give, but if a show is absolutely bleeding they will sometimes make the announcement on a Monday or Tuesday that the show is closing that Sunday. Sometimes they even announce as late as Wednesday or Thursday (or if you were in Glory Days, the morning after you opened).

However, a show that has been running as long as Groundhog Day usually announces their closing weeks in advance, so you should be fine.

Willie4316
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Equity rules state a performance week's notice minimum (meaning the to close by Sunday they must announce it the Tuesday before)

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Kitsune
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joined:12/29/06
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The Distinctive Baritone said: "The producers technically have to give at least ten days notice or something like that to the cast to avoid paying them for performances they are not going to give, but if a show is absolutely bleeding they will sometimes make the announcement on a Monday or Tuesday that the show is closing that Sunday. Sometimes they even announce as late as Wednesday or Thursday (or if you were in Glory Days, the morning after you opened).

However, a show that has been running as long as Groundhog Day usually announces their closing weeks in advance, so you should be fine.


 

"

Thank you, much appreciated!   I know I'll have to play this one by ear, but it's helpful to hear some general guidance.

10086Sundays
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joined:5/5/17
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Kitsune - I'm in the same boat regarding travel, etc.  Hopefully, we'll get enough notice to make plans.  I also hope I see the announcement in time to get good seats to whatever ends up being the final performance.

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dramamama611
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joined:12/4/07
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I'd say you have very good chances of seeing GHD but you might be seeing it on its last weekend. Labor day is a common closing date and I wouldn't be surprised if we have 2 or 3 announcements.

If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
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HogansHero
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it would be surprising for a show that has been limping for a long while to close without announcing "final weeks" so as to get stragglers in. 

kr123
Swing
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I've been wondering if I need to worry about Great Comet. Our tickets are in mid-August.

bowtie7
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A big part of announcing a closing has to due with changes in the shows advance ticket sales--information that is not public. Other factors that we can only make a best guess at included the shows actual running cost (especially after possible voluntary reduction to variable cost), how much reserve a show has, and whether the producers are willing to keep a show going temporarily at a slight loss hoping the continued visibility on Broadway could help build future ancillary rights.

Since historically grosses for weaker box office shows tend to start to slow down mid August before even greater declines in the middle of September, some shows have closed a bit before Labor day while others may wait for the holiday weekend. 

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leighmiserables
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kr123 said: "I've been wondering if I need to worry about Great Comet. Our tickets are in mid-August."

Nah, you're good. Grosses so far since Josh left have actually been surprisingly stable (of course, it's only been two weeks, but, y'know, optimism). If you had tickets for the middle of November, though, that'd be a different story... 

Updated On: 7/21/17 at 12:08 PM
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dramamama611
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kr123 said: "I've been wondering if I need to worry about Great Comet. Our tickets are in mid-August."

1.  No.

2.  I have tix for mid-August to happily see Oak, there will be no closing.

3.  What good/difference would worrying about it do?

If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
Alex Kulak2
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If a show closes earlier than expected, do the actors get some kind of severance pay?

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haterobics
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To be fair, these boards are often very wrong about predicting a closing. Which isn't to say the numbers don't support their theories, only that shows often stay open much longer than people think or the numbers seemingly indicate they should.

If you buy a ticket, you'll get a refund. If you buy a plane ticket, get travel insurance.

Margo319
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joined:5/28/15
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Groundhog Day hasn't been "limping" along at all, it's done modest numbers, and has kept pretty steady.  You are just fine through Labor Day.  

JSquared2
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Margo319 said: "Groundhog Day hasn't been "limping" along at all, it's done modest numbers, and has kept pretty steady.  "

Sure, if you say so......

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dramamama611
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Alex Kulak2 said: "If a show closes earlier than expected, do the actors get some kind of severance pay?"

 

What do you mean by "earlier than expected"? Before their individual contract runs out?  No.  

 

I believe the most they get is 2 weeks.  So, if they announce closing with 2 or more weeks left, they get what they work.   If they announce with LESS than 2 weeks notice, they get paid as IF there were 2 weeks notice.  (Although someone else said it's only 10 days, I'd been told 2 weeks)

 

This is why bway actors have a tendency to be quite frugal, and work so many of the extra gigs they do: broadway classroom,  54 below, etc.  And  why they are constantly auditioning for the next thing.

If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
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haterobics
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Margo319 said: "Groundhog Day hasn't been "limping" along at all"

True, when I saw it, you'd never even know Andy had been injured, aside from the compression thingy when he takes his pants (but not his boxers) off.

Margo319
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HogansHero
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Margo319 said: "Groundhog Day hasn't been "limping" along at all, it's done modest numbers, and has kept pretty steady.  You are just fine through Labor Day.  "

over 18 frames GHD is still in the red. it has not returned one penny to its investors. The promise that seemed to be developing in May and June has eroded. What part of that is not " limping"? I agree the show is not closing before Labor Day but it'll take some serious work to turn it around if it is to make it to New Years.

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Kitsune
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haterobics said: "To be fair, these boards are often very wrong about predicting a closing. Which isn't to say the numbers don't support their theories, only that shows often stay open much longer than people think or the numbers seemingly indicate they should.

If you buy a ticket, you'll get a refund. If you buy a plane ticket, get travel insurance.


 

"

I'm curious, what shows in the past have hung on longer than expected? Do we have any idea what happened in those cases?  Note: I'm asking this from a "I'm interested in how theater works!" perspective, not as a "nyah nyah nyah such and such poster got it wrong" thing.  From an economic perspective, it rarely seems to pay financially to invest in theater.  But perhaps some investors are interested in the art, or they're hoping to see some longer turn gains.  

I like your idea about travel insurance - I'll see if I can find one with a clause about event cancellation.  

JustAnotherNewYorker
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joined:12/20/16
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The most famous recent example of a show that was living dead forever before the towel was thrown in is probably "in transit". If you look at old threads (grosses, specifically) you'll find months of "when is it going to close" as it searched for an audience and hemorrhaged money

nmlhats
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In mid-Aug, you may get to see Patinkin in GC. But dang, I have bought November tix for clients....crossing my fingers.

I have twice been hit by unexpected closures when I had tix--for Shuffle Along and Bridges of Madison County. I managed to see Bridges on tour but I was super bummed about Shuffle Along. Audra or no Audra, that was a great cast.

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Kitsune
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Now I'm answering my own question, but it looks like there are some new advertising spots being produced for GHD (here and here).

I'm *cautiously* hopeful this means that the producers/investors are looking to give the show some more exposure before closing it.  (I don't know how this will pay off in terms of long-term profit, but admittedly I'm more personally invested in seeing the show stay open for longer)

10086Sundays
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I saw those too and had a similar reaction to yours, since I'd been expecting them to announce a mid-August closing. 

My guess/hope is that they've committed to staying open until Labor Day, no matter what, to see what the new ads do.  Since they sent out those surveys a week or so ago hopefully this campaign will be more successful in getting people to purchase full-price tickets for now and the future, especially the holiday season. (At this point, I just want it to play longer than Rocky, but that would require around 80 more performances.)

If it were to somehow make it to Sept/Oct, I would hope they'd make up a campaign that plays up the Christmas Carol/Scrooge-ness of the story to get the folks looking for a "holiday" show.

I was thinking the other day about how Scott Rudin leaving the show affected its success.  We'll never know, of course, but I do wonder what, if anything, he would have done differently.

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Malka2
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Omg I am SO excited to see that!!! That's a really great sign that they're not packing up the props just yet!!

Aside from the survey 2 weeks ago did anyone else get another one today? It came from the lotto program GHD uses but I'm pretty sure was just about GHD. The email said "we want your thoughts on a current Broadway musical, as well as on Broadway shows in general." Then the 3 questions were: which of these shows (listed the new 2017 season) have you heard of, which would you like to see, and have you been to Groundhog Day?

And then when the survey was complete the page redirected to GHD's website.

I thought that was really interesting. Maybe if you click that you haven't seen it they ask more questions? Either way I'm excited to see that more work is being done to figure out what's not working with the marketing and if/how it can be fixed.