The coronavirus pandemic has felled another Broadway show: “Mean Girls.”
The musical’s producers, led by Lorne Michaels of “Saturday Night Live,” announced on Thursday that they would not seek to reopen in New York once the pandemic eases. However, the producers do plan to restart the show’s national tour.
The show is the fourth Broadway closing prompted by the pandemic: Disney announced last spring that it would not reopen “Frozen,” and the producers of two plays that had been in previews, Martin McDonagh’s “Hangmen” and a revival of Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,” decided not to wait out the shutdown at all.
The “Mean Girls” closing was prompted by the costs of keeping the production intact while theaters are dark. Broadway has been closed since last March, and it seems likely that most shows will not return until the fall or later.
The musical, adapted from a 2004 film, features a book by Tina Fey; music by Jeff Richmond, who is married to Fey; lyrics by Nell Benjamin; and direction by Casey Nicholaw.
It opened in 2018 and was a hit, recouping its $17 million capitalization costs and grossing $124 million over 834 performances, according to the production. But it won none of the 12 Tony Awards for which it was nominated, and its weekly box office had softened over time.
The “Mean Girls” national tour began in Buffalo in 2019, and a London production, which was in the works before the pandemic, is still planned, according to Michaels. Paramount Pictures announced last January that it would make a film version of the stage musical, produced by Michaels and Fey.