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Broadway Musical ‘Rags’ Will Not Reopen In September

August 28, 1986

NEW YORK (AP) _ ″Rags,″ a $5.3 million Charles Strouse-Stephen Schwartz musical that closed on Broadway last week after four performances, will not get a second chance, its producers said.

Lee Guber, Martin Heinfling and Marvin A. Krauss had hoped to resume performances of the musical on Sept. 12 after raising additional money, estimated at between $500,000 and $1 million.

The funds would have been used to pay for a new television commercial and to keep ″Rags″ going for four to six weeks so audiences could decide for themselves if they liked the show.

The musical, about the Jewish immigrant experience in turn-of-the-century New York, received mostly negative notices, although its star, Teresa Stratas, and the score by Charles Strouse were praised by many reviewers.

″We had the cooperation of the unions, our star, Teresa Stratas, and our theater owner (the Nederlander organization). However, we could not bring the weekly operating budget of ‘Rags’ to a sufficient level to sustain the operation of the show,″ Guber, Heinfling and Krauss said in a statement Wednesday. ″Do we want to keep ‘Rags’ open? Yes. Can we keep ‘Rags’ open? No.″

According to Variety, the musical grossed $216,432 during its last week on Broadway, which included three preview performances. The show business publication has estimated the show’s weekly break-even point at over $300,000.

Efforts to raise money began after the Saturday matinee when a group of actors in the show led a parade of 1,000 theatergoers to the half-price ticket booth in Duffy Square, and the show sold out its final performance.

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