re: 'Merrily We Roll Along': It's a hit, it's a hit, but has it made history as a former flop?
Last Edit: WaymanWong 12:30 pm EST 02/10/24
Posted by: WaymanWong 12:14 pm EST 02/10/24
In reply to: re: 'Merrily We Roll Along': It's a hit, it's a hit, but has it made history as a former flop? - BroadwayTonyJ 10:52 am EST 02/10/24

You might be right about ''Merrily'' being the first Broadway musical flop, featured on Joe Allen's walls, to become a commercial hit.

Joe Allen's tradition of hanging posters of flop shows began with ''Kelly,'' which opened and closed on Feb. 6, 1965 (after 7 previews). Joe Allen opened in May 1965, and reportedly the cast of ''Kelly'' asked the owner to hang the poster of their notorious flop musical.

By sheer coincidence, ''Boeing-Boeing'' also opened and closed in February 1965, but we don't know if its poster is up at Joe Allen.

''I don't remember if their display of short-lived shows are all musicals with no plays.''

I didn't either, but I found this Broadway.com video feature about Joe Allen, below. Flop musicals, like ''Merrily,'' ''Rags,'' ''Via Galactica,'' etc., largely dominate, but there are some flop plays. The two I saw on this video were posters of stage versions of movies: ''Harold and Maude'' (1980), 21 previews and 4 performances, with 1929 Oscar winner Janet Gaynor making her Broadway debut (!), and ''On the Waterfront'' (1995), with 16 previews and 8 performances, with Kevin Conway, Ron Eldard, Penelope Ann Miller, David Morse and James Gandolfini (!), only a few years before his ''Sopranos'' fame.

Otherwise, I can think of another Broadway flop play that became a Broadway hit, but the original long predates Joe Allen. Paul Osborn's ''Morning's at Seven'' ran only 44 performances in 1939-1940, but the 1980 Broadway revival became a Tony-winning hit with 564 performances.
Link Broadway.com: Go Inside the Theater District Staple Joe Allen
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