Sting musical 'The Last Ship' on Broadway closing due to weak ticket sales

Broadway's @LastShipMusical from @OfficialSting to close on Jan. 24

Not even Sting himself could save his own Broadway musical "The Last Ship" from going down.

The English pop star, who wrote the music for this passion project, had recently joined the cast of the gritty musical at the Neil Simon Theatre in New York in a last-ditch effort to bolster ticket sales. But in the end, his presence on stage wasn't enough to keep the show from closing.

"The Last Ship" will play its final performance on Jan. 24. Producers made the announcement on the show's official Twitter account late Monday. The musical will have played for three months following its official opening on Oct. 26.

The new musical, which reportedly cost more than $14 million to mount, was Sting's first Broadway production as a composer and the story was loosely based on his own upbringing on a coastal English town. The plot concerns a man who returns home to find his village in the throes of a labor dispute involving shipyard workers.

Sting wasn't part of the original cast, but following mediocre reviews and weak ticket sales, he stepped into the production starting Dec. 9. His presence helped to reverse the show's pattern of weak revenue, with a 66% increase in ticket sales in his first week of performances.

But the show still failed to catch on with audiences, with attendance still stuck around 80% capacity of the approximately 1,467-seat theater. Sting was only scheduled to appear on stage for a limited time.

"The Last Ship" represented something that has become a rarity on Broadway -- an original, serious-minded musical not based on a movie. The New York Times reported that the production had weekly running costs of of $625,000 or more.

The production itself is still eligible for Tony Award consideration, with some industry watchers believing that Sting has a chance to land a nomination for his score, which received positive notices.

Twitter: @DavidNgLAT  

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