How Do You Cope When Your Favorite Show Closes?
Friday, July 24, 2015  •  
Fri Jul 24, 2015  •  
Musicals  •   7 comments Share This
"Watching it leave when you've just said hello is extremely bittersweet."

"That one," my wife said. "I want to see that show."

It was early June 2014 and we were at home in Texas watching the Tony Awards. The kids were finally asleep, and we were catching up on what we missed thanks to our DVR.

At the top of the ceremony, a medley from the Cotton Club-style revue After Midnight heated up our TV with glorious tapping, lush 1920s costumes, and performances by the musical's succession of stars -- Fantasia Barrino, Patti LaBelle, and Gladys Knight. All three divas were phenomenal, but what really got our attention was the dazzling dancing. (We weren't surprised when the show's choreographer, Warren Carlyle, took home a Tony for his work later in the evening.)

It was great timing. We were already planning a trip to New York City to see Hedwig and the Angry Inch later that month. By the time we finished watching the Tonys, we had tickets to catch After Midnight, too.

What we couldn't have foreseen was that a week after the Tonys, After Midnight would set its closing date (before Knight even got a chance to go on!). Luckily, it turned out our tickets were for the penultimate performance on Saturday, June 28, so we would actually get a chance to see it live.

The show was even more spectacular than we anticipated. Although it was hard for any production to compete with Neil Patrick Harris in Hedwig, After Midnight won our hearts. We loved the songs, the dancing, the poetry, the sexy costumes, every flawless transition, and that crackerjack band, the Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars. Whenever Ms. Patti LaBelle took the stage, it was as if cannons were being fired; there was nothing left of the roof when her songs concluded because her voice busted right through most of it, and the deafening applause and hollering that followed finished the job.

The show's de facto emcee, Dulé Hill, charmed throughout and -- whether due to the show's Golden Age of Harlem setting or its impending closure -- many of our fellow audience members were dressed to the nines. It felt like an event. I doubt I'll see this exuberant take on the music of that era on Broadway again, one infused with so much stage-rattling energy.

And that's where the heartbreak comes in. When you see a show that great, you want to tell all your friends and family, to blast it out on Twitter and Facebook, to buy another set of tickets and experience it again with loved ones you drag along, promising, "You're gonna love this!" With the show closing the next day, all we could do was talk about it in the past tense. "You should have seen it." "You would have loved it." "I wish we could go again."

There's something frustrating about discovering something you love and not being able to share it with others. All you're left with is a lot of vivid memories and a reminder that many of the greatest pleasures in life are ephemeral. Saying goodbye to an amazing show is always sad, but watching it leave when you've just said hello is extremely bittersweet.

Have you ever seen a show that's about to close and just adored it? Tell us in the comments!


Omar L. Gallaga is a technology culture writer

Photo by Matthew Murphy

Share This:
Bettina said:
I saw The Last Ship the first week in January (via TDF) after listening to the cast recording for a few weeks and loved it and the passion and eenergy of the cast. I immediately got another ticket as soon as the closing date was announced. If it wasn't for the January weather, I probably would have gone again.
Posted on 7/24/2015 at 11:58 AM
Joanne Theodorou said:
Yes, Dede Bridgewater's tribute to Billy Holiday, which just could not stay open. What annnoyed me is I had two TDF tickets but it closed sooner then expected ...and yes, the ticket cost was refunded but not the service charge... so I paid service charges for a show that closed...? Loved "After Midnight" still can't understand why that show could not stay open, it was SENSATIONAL.
Posted on 7/25/2015 at 11:33 AM
I have 3 favorites - Wonderland - The last Ship, Sting, & Rocky I cried a lot when they closed saw each one 4 & 5 times. Every thing about the above was just fanastic!! Enjoy & was dancing in the aisles,(just kidding). I am looking forward to seeing Gloria Estefan's show, I am also a fan of her.Also, enjoyed gigi,It shoulda been you,On the town!! we just love TDF, keep up the good work!!P&T,39saw
Posted on 7/25/2015 at 12:43 PM
John Esche said:
If you see a LOT of theatre it's going to happen all the time. You see the "so-so" shows first because "that HIT" will BE there - until it isn't - and then SOME of the famous turkeys you rushed to have *elements* that are better than any of the hits! 1600 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE (7perf. and out) had the best choreography in the Faison-staged overture I've ever seen - and Bernstein's second best score!
Posted on 7/25/2015 at 1:41 PM
Bea Moreno said:
I got tix for the closing day of "The Capeman". Loved the show, with music from Paul Simon & the great Latin music giants on the stage: Ruben Blades, Ednita Nazario & Marc Anthony... Who actually kissed the stage at the end of the show! Indelible great memories that live forever within me.
Posted on 7/25/2015 at 8:54 PM
Janette Gautier said:
Most recently, Side Show, both the original & the revival. How cruel that this production had the same fate after WONDERFUL reviews. But maybe most memorable-Sail Away with Elaine Stritch. I was in H.S. & came to Manhattan many a Saturday matinee, paying $2.50 for standing room! I fell in love with Stritch & Noel Coward forever. So grateful I saw it just before closing & so sad no one else could.
Posted on 7/25/2015 at 9:21 PM
Meel said:
I felt the same way about the show After Midnight. What happened? Why did it close? It didn't even go on the road. Maybe it will come back one day.
Posted on 7/26/2015 at 7:33 AM
Leave A Comment:
(Are you human?)
TDF Stages Home About TDF Stages Newsletter Signup

Follow TDF Stages:

Translate TDF Stages: