Matt Cavenaugh and Jenn Colella in Urban Cowboy
(Photo © Paul Kolnik)
Matt Cavenaugh and Jenn Colella in Urban Cowboy
(Photo © Paul Kolnik)
It has just been announced that the Broadway musical Urban Cowboy, based on the 1980 film of the same title, will close at the Broadhurst Theatre after the Sunday, May 18 performance. It will have played 26 previews and 60 regular performances.

Earlier today, it was announced that Urban Cowboy had received Tony Award nominations, for its score (with contributions by Bob Stillman, Jeff Blumenkrantz, Jason Robert Brown, and several other composers and lyricists) and choreography (by Melinda Roy). The show has also received a Drama Desk nomination for co-star Sally Mayes and two Outer Critics Circle nominations. Directed by Lonny Price, Urban Cowboy has a book by Aaron Latham and Philip Oesterman based on the screenplay of the film, which was in turn based on an article that Latham had written for Esquire magazine. The musical never recovered from a slew of negative reviews and has been doing poorly at the box office since its March 27 opening. A national tour of the show is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2004.

David Finkle concluded his TheaterMania review of the Broadway production as follows: "When Aaron Latham wrote his Esquire piece, he was making a point about the New West, where definitions of masculinity have shifted and where nine-to-fivers try to prove their manhood by challenging a machine designed to move like a riled bull. Latham's intentions were journalistic, his attitude ironic. When he had to turn the article into a screenplay, he found himself up against certain dramatic demands. The task facing him and his collaborators in crafting a stage musical of Urban Cowboy has been tricky, and not completely unlike having to climb on a bucking bull themselves. The right-ugly outcome is that they've been thrown."