Heading into the holidays, the Broadway season so far has been remarkable for the breadth of its appeal and the range of subjects. Along with the usual spate of film-to-musical adaptations (“Pretty Woman,” “King Kong”), we’ve had new musicals and plays connected to real-world issues (“Torch Song,” “American Son,” “The Lifespan of a Fact,” “The Prom” and “The Waverly Gallery” among them). Business is booming and the customers seem, for the most part, happy.
But, before we get too carried away with holiday happy dust, let’s talk about closings. My years as chief drama critic and reporter at Variety left me with a keen respect for what producers do, including the one overarching goal: Whenever possible, don’t produce a flop. Whether they’re in the business for love or money or, more likely, a fungible ratio of both, no producers want to create a show that won’t sell tickets.