Two Tony-nominated Broadway shows to close

Tue Jun 9, 2009 7:01pm EDT
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By Michelle Nichols

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Broadway productions of musical "Guys and Dolls" and the play "Reasons To Be Pretty" will close on Sunday, one week after failing to win any of U.S. theater's top honors which could have boosted ticket sales.

"Guys and Dolls" opened on March 1 and was nominated for two Tony Awards, including best musical revival, and "Reasons To Be Pretty" opened April 2 and picked up three Tony nods, including best play.

The Tony Awards, Broadway's top honors, were announced on Sunday with "Billy Elliot The Musical" winning 10 prizes for a season that defied the recession with record ticket sales.

But for shows like "Guys and Dolls" and "Reasons To Be Pretty" making it through the competitive, tourist-filled summer season is difficult without any awards to promote on billboards and in advertisements.

"Broadway is cyclical; shows open and close," said Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of The Broadway League. "It has been a spectacular spring and both of these shows have had enormous competition for theatregoers."

During the 12-month Broadway season ending May 24, 43 shows opened -- the most in more than 25 years, said the Broadway League. There were 10 new musicals, eight new plays, four musical revivals, 16 play revivals and five special shows.

A spokesman for director Neil Labute's "Reasons To Be Pretty" noted that the summer can be long and hard for "straight plays" to run at a profit. "Without a Tony Award win, it would have been very hard to survive," he said.

"Guys and Dolls" producer Howard Panter said in a statement "the final Broadway performance saddens us," while director Des McAnuff told the Toronto Star the show had been "hanging tough, but we just never managed to turn the corner."   Continued...

<p>Cast members of musical "Guys and Dolls" perform at the 63rd annual Tony Awards ceremony in New York, June 7, 2009. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn</p>