Ivo van Hove’s video-heavy revival of West Side Story, which was originally produced by Scott Rudin and opened a month before Broadway was shuttered, has scored a $10 million Small Business Administration grant to reopen.
A person familiar with the production said it will imminently announce when it will resume, along with who will oversee it. Following multiple reports alleging that Rudin abused his staff, the producer has said that he’s stepping back from the entertainment business. There’d been industry speculation that the musical, which was capitalized at $16 million and received mixed reviews, would not return.
The federal program to revive live entertainment has given producers more options after a devastating 16 months. Martin McDonagh’s Hangmen, which said a week after Broadway went dark that it would not open, received $3.5 million, according to SBA data posted online.
The dark comedy, which was capitalized at $4.75 million and co-produced by the Atlantic Theatre Co., had played just 13 previews at the Golden Theatre when producers pulled the plug. Spokesmen for the play didn’t respond to emails late Monday about plans to return.
The Shuttered Venue Operators Grants program is intended to be a lifeline for the decimated live performance industry, “for entities that are currently operating or intend to resume full operations,” the SBA said in a primer in April 2021. In seeking awards, applicants must complete a “certification of need” and the SBA suggests the following language: “If it receives a grant, [name of entity] intends to reopen on [date] or sooner, as conditions and restrictions permit.”
Demonstrating need is easier for some than others. Last month, the SBA disclosed that the Broadway production and two tours of Hamilton were awarded a total of $30 million. On Monday, two other Hamilton tours got $10 million each, for a total of $50 million for the acclaimed blockbuster.
Originally produced by Rudin, Aaron Sorkin’s To Kill a Mockingbird, a top-grossing play, got a $10 million grant. It’s scheduled to resume performances on Oct. 5, with Jeff Daniels returning as Atticus Finch.
A new revival of The Music Man, previously led by Rudin and starring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster, is scheduled to begin previews on Dec. 20. Rudin’s partners, Barry Diller and David Geffen, hired a British theater leader, Kate Horton, to be its executive producer. (Diller and Geffen are also lead producers of West Side Story. ) The Book of Mormon, Rudin’s biggest Broadway hit, is slated to return to Broadway on Nov. 5, with Anne Garefino as the sole lead producer.
The SBA hasn’t disclosed funds for Music Man or Book of Mormon. The agency said it’s awarded $5 billion of Shuttered Venue grants to-date and made decisions on 86 percent of the applications it’s received.
Harry Potter, Moulin Rouge!, the Tina Turner Musical and Jagged Little Pill are among the Broadway productions that received $10 million awards.
(This post was updated with additional SBA grants.)