The Broadway production of a play about Bill and Hillary Clinton talking frankly about her 2008 presidential campaign will close a month ahead of schedule, due to low ticket sales.
Starring Laurie Metcalf and John Lithgow, Hillary and Clinton was set to close on July 21 but will instead close June 23. It cost $4.2 million to produce.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, “Hillary and Clinton is not based on the real Clintons, but instead characters with the same name in an alternate universe,” and its early closing is linked to “underwhelming ticket sales.” Set in a New Hampshire hotel room during that state’s 2008 Democratic primary, it touches on marriage and sexism in politics.
A New York Times review mournfully noted that Lucas Hnath’s 90-minute play was “asking us to see the world through the eyes of a woman who ostensibly has all the right stuff to be president and yet is never allowed to win.”
The actors said they did not do impersonations of the famous political couple in the play, which also features an actor portraying a version of Barack Obama. Hillary and Clinton was originally staged in 2016, when Clinton was on the verge of attaining the Democratic presidential nomination.
In promoting the new Broadway show, Lithgow said it had taken on a new sense of “melancholy” in the Donald Trump era, because the audience knew what was coming with Clinton’s defeat in 2016 but those on stage didn’t.
Metcalf received a 2019 Tony nomination for her performance as Hillary but lost to Elaine May in The Waverly Gallery.