Box Office Bust: $4.2 Million Clinton Broadway Play Closes Early After Ticket Sales Flop


It looks like the real-life Hillary Clinton isn’t the only one who overestimated her number of supporters. Three years after the candidate faced one of the most embarrassing upset losses in political history, her alter ego is also being pushed off the stage early.

A stage play titled “Hillary and Clinton” that was scheduled to run on Broadway for another month will be shutting down early, after low ticket sales hurt the production. While not intended as a biography, the play’s disappointing ending seems to echo the former first lady’s own fall from grace.

“Starring Laurie Metcalf and John Lithgow, ‘Hillary and Clinton’ was set to close on July 21 but will instead close June 23. It cost $4.2 million to produce,” The Washington Free Beacon reported on Monday. Box office numbers show that the play barely broke even.

“Set in a New Hampshire hotel room during that state’s 2008 Democratic primary, it touches on marriage and sexism in politics,” that outlet continued.

Hey, what audience wouldn’t want to be hit over the head with more “#MeToo” preaching from a pantsuit-wearing politician?

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The stage play debuted in 2016, months before the November election that sent Donald Trump to the White House and Clinton supporters into hysterics. Producers, it seems, were absolutely convinced that Clinton would win; post-election, the play now comes across as desperate and even sad.

“It seems positively ungenerous at this point to have Bill Clinton regurgitate the standard criticisms tossed at his wife during both of her ill-fated campaigns for the presidency — that she’s cold, unemotional, wooden, boring, lacking humanity,” Hollywood Reporter contributor David Rooney wrote about the play in April.

“The glimmers of compassion in the writing are seldom more than that, to the point where I found a sourness creeping into my response to the play,” he added.

Yeah, sign us up. That sounds like a real great evening.

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While that same entertainment news outlet went out of its way to note that the characters are fictional versions of the Clintons, there’s no escaping the conclusion that Hillary’s real-life likability problems spilled directly onto the stage.

“‘Hillary and Clinton’ is not based on the real Clintons, but instead characters with the same names in an alternate reality,” The Hollywood Reporter insisted, perhaps as a way to put a barrier between the show’s disappointing run and the failed candidate.

But earlier write-ups made it clear that much of the real Hillary made it into the script, with The New York Times confirming that “it’s about exactly what, and whom, its title suggests.”

If there was any remaining doubt about why Clinton lost in 2016 or why so many left-leaning media outlets failed to even consider that she might be defeated, another line from the Times write-up should clear it up.

The play asks the audience “to see the world through the eyes of a woman who ostensibly has all the right stuff to be president and yet is never allowed to win,” theater critic Ben Brantley wrote.

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And that is exactly how so many on the left viewed Hillary Clinton: An inevitable heir to a throne, who was supposed to be “allowed to win.”

They just forgot that an actual election had to take place first.

There are a few takeaways from this play’s early closure. The first is that Hillary Clinton’s legacy is going to be one of disappointment, and it appears that she has already been swept into the dustbin of political — and Broadway — history.

And that brings up the second point. Liberals have once again shown that they are shockingly out of touch about what resonates or sells with actual Americans.

Even among the presumably left-leaning New York theater crowd, they poured millions into a production that couldn’t fill seats.

Maybe if they left their bubble once in a while, they’d start to have a clue why.

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Benjamin Arie is an independent journalist and writer. He has personally covered everything ranging from local crime to the U.S. president as a reporter in Michigan before focusing on national politics. Ben frequently travels to Latin America and has spent years living in Mexico.