From ailing stars to jailed producers, the stories behind some of Broadway’s shortest runs are the stuff of legend.
We all know the Broadway shows that run for years and years, like The Phantom of the Opera or Chicago, but sometimes Broadway shows are more short-lived—sometimes they don’t even make it to opening night. As any theatre super-fan can tell you, some of Broadway’s shortest runs remain fans’ favorite shows, and catching a legendary production during a brief run can lead to major bragging rights in theatre circles.
Began previews March 9, 1993
Closed March 14, after eight previews
David Henry Hwang’s first Broadway play, M. Butterfly, was quite a success when it opened on Broadway in 1988, winning the Tony Award for Best Play in 1989. Hwang reunited with Butterfly’s star, B.D. Wong, for Face Value in 1993, with Jane Krakowski and Mark Linn-Baker also among the cast. Loosely based on the controversy surrounding the casting of Miss Saigon on Broadway in 1991, Face Value was intended to be a farce about multi-racial casting, but critics in Boston didn’t find it very humorous. It ultimately lasted only eight performances on Broadway. The experience became the inspiration behind Hwang’s Yellow Face, which premiered in Los Angeles in 2007 before playing Off-Broadway at the Public Theater, where it won the Obie Award for Playwriting.