The latest revival of Guys and Dolls appears to be in a bushel and a peck of trouble. The reviews were nothing less than excoriating. (See the critical roundups on DidHeLikeIt.com and Critic-O-Meter.)
But business for Guys and Dolls has actually been fairly decent. The show had been playing to over 90% capacity until the reviews came out, but even after it was at about 85%. Of course, most of those ticket sales were discounted: the show's average ticket price has been about $65. It's not clear whether the $400,000 to $500,000 the show has been pulling in weekly is enough to cover expenses.
I have a ticket to see Guys and Dolls on March 25th, but I've been concerned that the show will close before I get to see it. This would actually be the first time, in 30-plus years of theater going, that I would have a ticket for a show that closed before I could see it. I did have a ticket for the aborted revival of Godspell, but that show didn't close, it just never opened.
According to Michael Riedel of the New York Post, the producers of Guys and Dolls plan to run it for at least seven weeks to see if it has legs. Apparently the audience response has been positive, or at least that what producer Howard Panter told Riedel. (Yeah, well, I seem to recall that the audience responded quite positively to A Tale of Two Cities and Frankenstein, too.) Could positive word of mouth turn Guys and Dolls into a modest hit? Or will recession-weary and review-cognizant theater patrons opt for the better received revivals of West Side Story and Hair? Will I even get the chance to see the show and weigh in with my own critical take?