The Fairy Princess is flapping her wings a bit slower today – because BEETLEJUICE on Broadway is closing – despite huge box office, for no other reason than Producer Scott Rudin wanted his show in there, and she is not ok with that.

The Cast ‘announced’ it in a cute little video by one of the stars, Alex Brightman.

This is a question of real estate, to some extent – there are only 41 Theaters that qualify as Broadway Houses, and they are all unique to some extent, The New Yorker’s VULTURE has done a humorous if appallingly accurate job in breaking them down, which you can read here.

However TFP does want to list the theaters, because…well you will see – you can totally skip this list, and go to the next part.

Al Hirshfeld – MOULIN ROUGE!

Ambassador – CHICAGO

American Airlines Theater – A SOLDIER’s PLAY, then BIRTHDAY CANDLES

August Wilson – MEAN GIRLS


Bernard B. Jacobs – COMPANY (coming up)

Booth Theater – FREESTYLE LOVE SUPREME, then Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?


Brooks Atkinson – WAITRESS, then SIX

Circle In The Square – OKLAHOMA (that f…) then AMERICAN BUFFALO

Cort Theater: Derren Brown SECRET, upcoming, THE MINUTES

Ethel Barrymore: THE INHERITANCE


George Gershwin – WICKED

Gerald Schoenfeld – COME FROM AWAY

Hayes Theater – GRAND HORIZONS

Hudson Theater – AMERICAN UTOPIA, upcoming PLAZA SUITE

Imperial – AIN’T TOO PROUD

John Golden – SLAVE PLAY, upcoming HANGMEN

Longacre Theatre – THE LIGHTENING THIEF, upcoming DIANA (as in Princess)

Lunt Fontanne Theater – TINA

Lyceum Theater – A CHRISTMAS CAROL (nothing announced upcoming)



Marquis Theater – TOOTSIE (Closing JAN 5) – NOTHING ANNOUNCED

Minskoff Theatre – THE LION KING

Music Box Theater – DEAR EVAN HANSEN

Nederlander Theater – Harry Connick Jr. then, THE LEHMAN TRILOGY

Neil Simon Theatre – EMPTY

New Amsterdam Theatre – ALADDIN

PALACE THEATRE – EMPTY/Under Construction

Richard Rogers Theatre – HAMILTON


Schubert Theatre – TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

ST. James Theatre – FROZEN

Stephen Sondheim – SLAVA’S SNOW SHOE and then, MRS. DOUBTFIRE


Vivian Beaumont Theatre – FLYING OVER SUNSET

Walter Kerr – HADESTOWN

Wintergarden Theatre – BEETLEJUICE, then MUSIC MAN

There are currently 26 musicals playing on Broadway – give or take, some closing, some about to open, but 26 is a good number – TFP has made them bold, so you, Dear Reader, can see them.

The ones in blue are empty and have no announced productions listed. Frankly, The Palace may never open in our lifetimes again, because ‘construction’ that forced SPONGEBOB the Musical, to close, happened – and that was a shock as well.

There are 4, ’empty’ theaters – and no, none of them are ‘perfect’, and yes, all could use an update. Will the Palace ever come back? Who knows?


Also- YES John Mulaney and Rachel Bloom both of you asked on Twitter about the whole closing of Beetlejuice and the optics of either adding more theaters or not – there could be more theaters –  you would have to be advocating for this with the Producer’s Guild and the Theater owners –  definitely there could be more theaters opened on Broadway.

However, it would take either – a consortium of VERY WEALTHY PEOPLE WHO NEVER EXPECTED RETURN ON IT IN THEIR LIFETIMES to do such a thing, OR it would take Corporations who have a vested interest in owning their own spaces to advocate for their own pieces, to do it.

But if they won’t impeach the Orange, why should we expect them to have a soft spot for theater?


Because everything in show business is Real Estate.


One wealthy Actor or Actress is not going to do it. If you can get all the people in MARVEL movies and pair them up with Brad Pitt – it would still be not enough to build a Broadway theater from the soup to the nuts. (Although someone TALK to Brad Pitt, he loves construction, apparently).

Let’s say there are now 3 empty theaters.

Forget the Palace for now. Apologies to Judy Garland.


Now, in this scenario, you are Scott Rudin, and you have Hugh Jackman on speed dial and on hold for this production – and undoubtedly, Hugh gets a tidy sum if you have tied up his schedule and a full production has NOT come to fruition – however, you do not have a theater yet.

However you have announced the cast. You, Scott Rudin, have a tick tick ticking in your head because if this show does not go up, you are out some drachmas. Sets have to be built, costumes, choreo has to be learned, it is a nightmare of logistics and you need to know where you are going.

Producers play the guessing game, and that, frankly is why people love producing. Producers are gamblers by nature. To be a Producer you have to invest in what you THINK is going to happen, what MAY happen, and how you facilitate that happening, and not only on your dime

It is about money, but it is also about taste level.


After all, if you pick a project that is a commercial success, that is one kind of ‘win’ as a producer – but the HOPE is, you pick a commercial AND ARTISTIC kind of success. Thus shoring up your ‘taste level’ points, and making people more likely to invest on your say so.

Scott Rudin is used to, deservedly so, being seen as a tastemaker – because he usually stacks the deck with celebrity actors and beloved shows, even when he does take a change on a ‘new’ project, as with SHUFFLE ALONG or TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, it is stacked with celebrity talent – both on the stage and as creatives.

So if TFP were Scott Rudin and she had a Hugh Jackman type person who needed a theater – she would have been looking, of course, at not only what was available, but what seemed like it may BECOME available. She would be looking at shows that were up and running that had a shaky box office draw, perhaps she could get their space….

Hmmmm….remember looking for blood in the water.

Smell it yet? Looking around, looking around…



FROZEN? Hahahahha.




There are just some long running shows that are simply not closing any time soon, and we all know it. PHANTOM, WICKED, HADESTOWN, DEAR EVAN HANSEN, MEAN GIRLS…all king of the rock, no one is going nowhere, no how. It is somewhat crazy how long running shows at the moment are – vacancies are particularly hard to find.

CHICAGO? That would be more realistic, honestly,  as a dogged production that has has some real life drama in recent history, but the tourists love it. Last year, New York City hosted 65.1 MILLION Tourists! With overall attendance up  on Broadway to 9.5 per cent.

Hence it keeps running.

It would be a negotiation to get the Barry and Fran Weissler  to close it, and given that it is beloved, it would have been a steep negotiation. However the show has been running since 1996.

1,114 Seats in the Ambassador…just sayin’….


TFP thinks Rudin could have managed it, seeing as it was another Shubert Property, but you would have to strike a deal with them, and they have seemingly always ‘made’ their ‘minimum’.

The “Minimum’ is the amount of money the box office has to clear, to keep the show open in the theater. Dependant on reaching ‘that number’, the owners of the theater can evict the show from the theater. Theater owners are also a cagey bunch because they never want to have a space be empty. A long running hit like PHANTOM or WICKED is ‘the dream’ if you are a Producer or a Theater owner, because the longer a show runs, the more money you make off of it.

Then when you go on tour …another money maker…so ‘everyone’ wants a long running show that you can ‘kind of’ forget about, that just keeps meeting expectations. It gives you, the Producer, freedom to run around and look for the next big thing.

The cycle continues.


With CHICAGO, the Weisslers and the Shuberts are still making money. They knew what they were doing when they put it all together – no sets to speak of, everyone in black dancewear, even with the Dancers and the Orchestra – they were always going to get a return on that – those are smart producers.


For some reason, CHICAGO was not chosen to be given the ouster.

It is a good show, it has just been running for quite a while – and BY THE WAY….they have NEVER had an AAPI in a Lead Role on Broadway – they had one gal playing, TFP believes, Roxy, but she was over from Japan, having done the show there. No Asian Americans or Pacific Islanders. Mama Morton could EASILY be played by a AAPI, but again, crickets on AAPI Representation in CHICAGO.

OK fine, it is staying like the Koch Wing at the Natural History Museum…

Where then,  it is a particularly robust long running Broadway as of late,  do you go?

Where does a bear poop in the woods?

Answer: Anywhere it wants to.

In that question, the bear is Scott Rudin.

Scott Rudin decided he liked the Winter Garden, and why not? It has 1,526 seats. It has it’s own stand alone building (ok it has other things attached, like businesses, but no other theaters) and it is owned by the Shubert Organization. You can take the 1 train right there! Easy!

But it was not empty.

It has a show in there about a teenage girl grappling with her Mother’s passing.

That is the crux of it, it was not empty.

What to do, what to do? If you are one of the most powerful producers, a show making money and showcasing minority and diverse talent driving a female centric narrative is not going to get in your way.


Let TFP break it down for you about the families/organizations that own the Broadway Theaters, or Theatres – there are 3.


Yes, three.

The Shubert Organization –  16 theaters.

The Nederlander Organization –  9 theaters.

Jujamcyn – five theaters.

Then there are the four non-profit theatre companies that have Broadway theaters – Lincoln Center Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club, and Roundabout Theatre – NFP negotiates under LORT Contracts. Different $$$, technically your tix are, what- a donation or something, so the Actors get less.

Go us!

The rest of them belong to what was known as the LEAGUE OF RESIDENT THEATERS, now know as, The Broadway League.

They are the ‘Big Dogs” – they are the deciders. They wheel and deal, they are in the ‘room where it happens’, and they pick the room.


The only exception being that Second Stage Theatre is the non-profit owner of the Helen Hayes Theater, but is not a member of the LEAGUE.

The Shuberts own:

Shubert Theatre, Broadhurst Theatre, Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, Cort Theatre, Imperial Theatre, Ambassador Theatre, Broadway Theatre, Booth Theatre, Lyceum Theatre, Longacre Theatre, Music Box Theatre, Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, Majestic Theatre, Winter Garden Theatre, Belasco Theatre, and the Forrest Theatre.

The only above property (remember that list TFP said you could skip? Well you are going to need to skip up there now) that is currently ’empty’ that is Shubert owned – Lyceum Theatre, (950 Seats), not big enough to pay for Hugh Jackman.

Had TFP been Scott Rudin, she would have potentially looked at The Broadway Theater, with it’s over 1700 seats and a revival that has had some troubling issues from the go.

Most recently, KING KONG played The Broadway Theater, which has also been home to MISS SAIGON, BOMBAY DREAMS, and will be housing the WEST SIDE STORY Revival that has cut/added back numbers and recently hired Serge Trujillo as a “Consultant“.

TFP honestly ‘cannot‘ with the WSS revival, she wishes all the performers the best and yadda yadda yadda Break A Leg, but the idea that a White European Director and a White Female European Choreographer with no Latinx knowledge or…anyway, happy for Mr. Trujillo.

Look at how happy TFP is…


However the point being that IF the WSS revival crashes and burns…MUSIC MAN could simply move right in and Hugh could still have the ‘stand alone’ theater with a huge marquee and seats – and in fact – that stage is much larger than the one at the Winter Garden.

TFP knows, she has stood on both.

More seats = more money.

If WEST SIDE STORY, which opens momentarily, does not do well, it could close just as quickly, and the The Broadway would be available. However previews for MUSIC MAN are slated to begin in Sept. 2020, with an opening night of October 15, 2020.

Granted, a lot can happen in six months.

This ‘deal’  that was just released has been in place since the one bad week BEETLEJUICE had several months ago, and Rudin took advantage of it.

It is what Producers do – hate the game, not the player – even if the player in this case does not play well with others.


BEETLEJUICE  is pulling in record box office. Indisputable.

Even with non-raves as reviews (which, honestly TFP did not understand, as she has seen the show), and a box office that one week earned 53% of it’s potential,  it was the ‘come back kid, in terms of Broadway Musicals, flipping the switch and earning it’s highest grosses thus far the week of Dec. 1.

So, to put this all together – BEETLEJUICE is:

  1. Making Money
  2. Diverse Cast
  3. Female Driven Narrative
  4. Bringing in New Audiences
  5. Winning Viral Game with Tick Tock Videos and TV Appearances

Whatever they were doing over at Warner Bros Theatrical, it was working.

It was totally working.

Why screw with a winner?


Which is why the frustration of all at the news that it is closing – this lovely show, with People of Minority Status and People of Color as a majority in this FEMALE DRIVEN NARRATIVE , in leads, in supporting roles, in the ensemble,  all very visible – and also, a variety within the POC spectrum, it falls to the guy who is doing his best to –  it must be said, MAKE BROADWAY GREAT AGAIN, and that is infuriating.


Scott Rudin has had some very notable sucesses (EGOT)… and some lapses, let us recall what he said about the announced MUSIC MAN, led by Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster:


Uh huhhhhhh.


What he ‘learned’ from DOLLY, was that some people were dismayed with an inclusive cast, when they had been expecting an exclusive cast –  because they are bigots.


That is what he learned.

YES, Virginia, you can love musicals and still be a bigot.

You can ‘love’ musicals and prefer the casts as segregated as a Pre-Rosa Parks Bus Ride, which ALSO makes you…wait for it…. a bigot.

You can ‘cloak’ your bigotry in claims of ‘historical accuracy’, but as TFP has pointed out AGAIN and AGAIN – Port Cities have always had People of Color, from time immemorial. New York City and shows that are based in New York City, have always had People of Color and should always HAVE People of Color in them. Casting should reflect the American Scene of the city in which it is set and the city in which it resides, as much as possible.

(Ask TFP about COMPANY if you really want her to lose her mind.

Not now, later. She will lose her mind later)

However your comments were duly noted.

Keeping things “The Golden Age Way” means no People of Color in that world.  That is what it means.

Picture a show Stephen Miller would enjoy.


Let us recall that Mr. Rudin was one of the involved parties in great “leaked email’ SONY scandal in Hollywood in 2014. There is a lot of troubling material to wade through there, including the way he wrote about OSCAR Winner Angelina Jolie, and President Obama’s movie tastes that he had to apologize for.


Mr Rudin sued over the pregnancy of the GODDESS THAT IS AUDRA MACDONALD for…becoming pregnant during SHUFFLE ALONG, and instead of just replacing her for the time she would be away, he closed the show completely – sending the Cast, almost all African American and which included TONY Winner BILLY PORTER, off to unemployment!


That as he produced TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD on Broadway, he then threatend to sue small theaters ACROSS THE COUNTRY who had already been given permission to stage a different version of the show, and ALSO sued Harper Lee‘s estate!


He has had some ‘moments’, we would all agree. He is the biggest Producer on Broadway and he rarely loses a fight. He got what he wanted and he wanted what he got.

BEETLEJUICE is out and MAGA MAN is coming…

So be it.

It just stings.

Losing a beautiful rainbow of a show such as BEETLEJUICE to a white wash is hard. It is hard for TFP, it is hard for, she is sure, the Cast and the Crew, it is hard for the Broadway community – this is over 100 jobs that are going away for no good reason.

MUSIC MAN could have added at least 100 jobs to Broadway without subtracting those in BEETLEJUICE, and that is the rub.

That is the rub, indeed.

It is a damn shame.

A tour is announced, however a transfer within the Broadway theater scene – such as they did with Les Miz, which then went on to run for years, has not been, although again – a lot can happen in six months.

You have six months left – it is not leaving until June – get your tickets – it will be a party every night.

Au Revoir Beetlejuice – the whole being dead thing was one of TFP’s absolute favorites.

Rest In Peace Out….sing us off, Brightman!