Cat on a Hot Tin Roof recently lost its leading lady Ashley Judd to a foot injury, prompting a loss of $158,523 in sales the week of Feb. 23-29, according to box office statistics from the League of American Theatre and Producers. The average attendance was 48.4 percent of capacity, down 25 percent from the previous week.
On Feb. 24, Judd understudy Kelly McAndrew was announced to continue in the role of Maggie the Cat to March 14, the announced end date of the limited engagement.
By the time of the Sunday March 7 closing, the Tennessee Williams revival will have played 25 previews and 145 performances. It was the highest-grossing play on Broadway this season, a spokesman said.
McAndrew has acted Off-Broadway in Book of Days at the Signature Theatre Company. She has appeared at such regional house as George Street Playhouse, Arizona Theatre Company and Arena Stage.
Previews began Oct. 9, 2003, under the direction of Anthony Page.
The show made headlines during the run when the well reviewed Beatty told The New York Times that he didn't think Patric or Judd had the acting chops to tackle the show.
The comments prompted much debate in the artistic community. Beatty indicated there were many unknown and gifted performers working in regional theatre who deserved a shot at Broadway jobs that were handed to movie actors.
Ironically, the steep dip in ticket sales after the loss of Judd indicates people kept coming to the Music Box to see one important thing: Movie star Judd in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.