On the surface, The Inheritance had all the makings of a hit coming from the West End to Broadway, but sometimes you really can’t trust the decision-making across the pond, and not just in reference to Brexit. The epic, two-part gay drama’s producers Tom Kirdahy, Sonia Friedman, and Hunter Arnold have announced that it will end its Broadway run on March 15. Matthew Lopez’s modern update of Howards End, which incorporated questions about how generations of queer men relate to the history of the AIDS epidemic, opened on September 27. That’s a respectable run for any play on Broadway, but a disappointment for its producers and investors, especially considering how the show has struggled at the box office with increasingly low grosses. A March 15 closing means that The Inheritance will shutter before Tony season kicks into full gear, likely making it less competitive in awards races, as voters generally prefer to award both hits and productions that are still running.
That’s a pretty big turnaround for a show that won numerous accolades in London, including an Olivier Award for Best New Play. But when The Inheritance arrived in New York, it received a cooler reception from both critics and audiences. It struggled to live up to the hype as the next big gay drama, especially in light of its focus on a set of wealthy, cisgender, mostly white gay men (and also Lois Smith, but just for one scene). As part of a recent last-ditch press push for the show, Lopez responded to some of those criticisms in the Times, and The Inheritance has offered significant discounts on tickets, though apparently that was not enough to turn things around financially. Well, we’ll always have fond memories of that one scene with Lois Smith.