Special Reports

Broadway Shockers 2017: Indecent Gets a Midsummer Miracle

A closing notice wasn’t the end for Paula Vogel’s acclaimed play.

Richard Topol, Katrina Lenk, and the Broadway cast of Indecent at the Cort Theatre.
Richard Topol, Katrina Lenk, and the Broadway cast of Indecent at the Cort Theatre.
(© Carol Rosegg)

Every year, the Broadway community mourns the handful of shows whose lights go out prematurely. But in a rare turn of events, Paula Vogel's Tony-nominated play Indecent gave the 2017 season its very own Hanukkah miracle — in June.

Indecent was set to play its final Broadway performance at the Cort Theatre on June 25, when, on June 22, producer Daryl Roth made the following announcement:

"There are shows that remind you of the reason we all fell in love with theatre in the first place, and Indecent has been one of those shows for all of us involved with it. We have been thrilled that this show has affected audiences so profoundly during our Broadway run. But since we announced our closing, the electricity of what is happening at the Cort has been profound. So it gives me great pleasure to extend the life of Indecent for just a few more weeks on Broadway, to give theatregoers a little more time to see it before we pack up our suitcases for the final time on August 6."

Broadway doesn't often dole out reprieves, but it's fitting that one was reserved for a story about Sholem Asch's Yiddish drama God of Vengeance, which was shut down on its 1923 Broadway opening night for its "indecent" content. The production, with Tony-winning direction by Rebecca Taichman, illustrated the healing power of bold theater — and that power turned a closing notice into performances that illuminated the Cort for six additional weeks. That's what makes this one of the most welcome shockers of 2017.