NEW YORK — The Tony Award best musical nominee “Something Rotten!” — a valentine to Broadway shows — will close on the Great White Way early next year.
Kevin McCollum, the Tony-winning producer whose Broadway credits include “The Drowsy Chaperone” and “Rent,” said Thursday the show will end its run Jan. 1 after 742 total performances. A national tour kicks off in Boston on Jan. 17 and McCollum said he’s in talks for potential productions in Japan and London, among other places.
“I think it’s a show that people will come to learn about and, hopefully like other shows like ‘Chicago,’ as it gets older, it gets more popular,” he said in a phone interview. “It’s a title that we’re still building into a brand.”
The comedy is set in 1595 England and portrays William Shakespeare as an arrogant, rock star playwright. Two brothers desperate to write a hit show in his shadow stumble on the notion of writing the world’s first musical.
It opened in spring 2015 on Broadway at the St. James Theatre, one of the rare new musicals to not be based on a previous work, whether a book or a film. McCollum said the show “is well on its way to recoupment.”
It ran the longest of any musical from that spring season, including “Fun Home,” the best new musical Tony winner in 2015. “We definitely got more laughs per dollar than most,” McCollum said.
Karey Kirkpatrick co-wrote the songs with his brother, Wayne, and co-wrote the story with John O’Farrell, all of whom made their Broadway debuts. O’Farrell is a British author and commentator known for the books “The Man Who Forgot His Wife” and “The Best a Man Can Get.”
Wayne Kirkpatrick is a Grammy Award-winning songwriter of such tunes as “Change the World” for Eric Clapton and “Wrapped Up In You” by Garth Brooks. His brother is a screenwriter who helped write films including “Chicken Run,” ”James and the Giant Peach” and “Over the Hedge.”
“We’ll hear more from those guys. They’re doing some great work,” McCollum said. “I think we’ll be doing a lot more together so I’m excited.”
“Something Rotten!” originally starred “Next to Normal” star Brian d’Arcy James, Tony-winner Christian Borle (“Peter and the Starcatcher”) and Tony-nominees John Cariani and Brooks Ashmanskas. Borle won a Tony as the rock star Shakespeare and the musical was nominated for best book, best score, orchestrations and best costume. James got a nod for best lead actor in a musical and Brad Oscar got one for featured actor. Director Casey Nicholaw was nominated for best direction and choreography.
“Something Rotten!” outlasted other musicals from the spring 2015 season like “The Visit,” ”The King and I,” ”Finding Neverland,” ”Gigi” and “On the Twentieth Century” and “It Shoulda Been You.”
“Broadway — the economics are tough. Real estate is expensive. Advertising is expensive. Tickets are expensive,” McCollum said. “A lot of the economics are built on full-price tickets but yet most of these shows have to survive at less than full price. And that’s why we’re seeing so much turnover right now.”
Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits