Why is Broadway Making Kids Depressed?

Vanessa McLaughlin, Staff Writer

“The show must go on” is a common theater phrase used very often. Sadly, due to Broadway’s recent decisions, most shows cannot go on.

  Broadway is an infamous street with many theaters and companies featuring successful plays, musicals and shows. To become part of a Broadway production or to write one is a very difficult task. One must meet high standards which puts an enormous amount of pressure on producers. To add to this high pressure, they have to fear being cut. An unfortunate turn of events have caused Broadway to close five shows over the summer and more are coming. As much as theater students and fans love Broadway, they can’t help but feel mad at the people making these decisions.

The closing shows have started to upset theater students since “The Cher Show,” “Be More Chill,” “Pretty Woman: The Musical,” “The Prom” and “King Kong” closed this summer. Fans wonder why they closed so many good shows — and big ones for that matter. 

So why would Broadway close all these shows if they made roughly $1.83 billion through the 2018-2019 season? The truth is actually more complicated than it seems. Broadway needs more money to keep up with high-grossing shows like “Hamilton,” “Wicked” and “The Lion King.” The closed shows just didn’t meet the companies standards and did not make up losses from the 10 percent ticket price drop.

Aviva Bryngegard-Bialik, a theater student at West Ranch, explains her feelings about the closing shows. “It affected me very emotionally especially because I feel very connected to all of these shows. I relate to them, after feeling the excitement of knowing they were going up on Broadway and suddenly ‘Oh they’re closed now!’ It was definitely quite a turn. It feels as if my favorite shows are not appreciated as much, so it’s just kinda sad for me.” 

Many other students feel very similarly as their favorite shows get taken up and torn down so quickly.

“Some of these shows I’ve heard about or known about for years, and I’ve watched them go from small theater productions on Broadway and a lot of them only had two month long run shows and had up in coming actors who are now getting a big break. Unfortunately, their careers in that show were cut short,” Emma Bates, another theater student, says of these shows. 

Brynjegard-Bialik wishes they could have seen the shows and feel empathy for other fans who couldn’t see them as well: “I’m really upset at them closing. There wasn’t much time for a lot of people to go see them.” 

When asked if they had seen any closing shows, West Ranch students responded out of sadness. 

“I didn’t get a chance to get to New York, but I saw some rehearsal clips, and I saw some clips released by the shows, and they were awesome.” Bates explained how she spent time watching any recordings she could find, like many other fans did.

Brynjegard-Bialik wants fellow fans and theater students to know there is a good side to Broadway’s decision: “I think if there were to be a good thing about all these closing shows is that it opens opportunities for new shows that we get to continue to see new content on Broadway stages.” 

To every con there is a pro. The last curtain call for actors and fans alike is hard, but when you really think about it, one end scene is just another show’s opening number.