After losing the Best Play race at last Sunday’s Tony Awards to “Oslo,” both “Indecent” and “Sweat” have have posted closing notices. Likewise for Best Play Revival also-ran “Six Degrees of Separation,” which was bested by a show, “Jitney,” that had a limited run earlier this season.
Despite winning a second Pulitzer Prize for playwright Lynn Nottage, “Sweat” was shut out of the Tonys and will shutter on June 25. This timely story of the effects of globalization on a factory town in rural Pennsylvania had also reaped Tony bids for featured players Johanna Day and Michelle Wilson; they lost to Cynthia Nixon (“The Little Foxes”). Despite opening to stellar reviews in late March, “Sweat” proved to be a hard sell, taking in less than $350,000 per week.
“Indecent” marked the Broadway debut of Paula Vogel, another Pulitzer champ. Her provocative play about censorship won two Tonys: director Rebecca Taichman, who co-created the production, pulled off the biggest upset of the night and it also prevailed, as expected, for lighting design. After opening in late April to some of the best notices of the season, the play never cracked the $300K mark at the box office in its 10-week run on the rialto. However, several leading regional theaters, including the Huntington in Boston and the Guthrie in Minneapolis, have already announced productions of “Indecent” as part of their upcoming seasons.
“Six Degrees of Separation” was one of the most eagerly anticipated shows this season. Emmy champ Allison Janney was to headline the first Broadway revival of this John Guare satire that had contended for Best Play in 1991. Back then, Janney’s “West Wing” co-star Stockard Channing had reaped a Tony bid for playing a society matron whose life is turned upside down by an interloper. Janney did not fare so well by comparison, with only her co-star Corey Hawkins contending at the Tonys; he lost to Kevin Kline (“Present Laughter”). “Six Degrees” will have the shortest run of the three, having opened at the end of the season in late April and closing this Sunday (June 18).