The German production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Sunset Boulevard, in Wiesbaden-Niedernhausen, Germany, will close on May 3rd. In January, the primary investor Peter Buck had announced his plans to continue playing the musical until June 3rd. However, disappointing ticket sales have prompted him to pre-empt this date by one month.
The German-language version of Sunset Boulevard was originally initiated and produced by the Really Useful Group. It marked the first foray in Germany by the R.U.G. as the primary producer of a musical. Until this time the company had worked in cooperation with Stella Musical Management in co-producing the German versions of Cats, Phantom of the Opera and Starlight Express. All three of these shows continue to enjoy great box office success.
Sunset Boulevard suffered however from marketing difficulties from the start. It received excellent reviews, but was never able to consistently sustain a high enough level of ticket sales to pay back the costs of the production, and the Rhein-Main-Theater which was built to house it.
The production will have played a total of 992 performances in the course of two and a half years, and will have been seen by 830,000 people.
--By Scott Lawton