Bye Bye Birdie Extension Reaffirms Broadway’s Love of Stars (in Musicals)

12/02/2009 9:03 AM |

Bye BYe Birdie

Yesterday the sudden news of Oleanna‘s closing on Sunday offered proof that a star-studded cast doesn’t necessarily translate to Broadway success—despite what a recent Times feature claims—but then the news that Bye Bye Birdie, Roundabout Theater’s revival of the 1960 musical starring John Stamos and Gina Gershon, would play an extra two weeks past its original closing date of January 10 calls for the qualifier: plays with stars aren’t guaranteed hits, musicals with stars make bank.

At least that’s how the decision to extend Birdie to January 24 reads, particularly given the pretty universal critical panning it’s received, which is more or less on par with Oleanna‘s reception. Ticket sales for the David Mamet revival have been in the 30 to 40 percent range for a while now, but Birdie has been at 90 percent capacity since opening. Or maybe this simply means that kids raised on Full House are just the right age now for buying $75 tickets to see the TV relatives of their youth in the flesh. Somewhere, hopefully, a Broadway producer is pitching Bob Saget a musical right now.