Broadway's Life of Pi has set an early closing date, with its final performance now scheduled for July 23 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. The West End transfer had previously been scheduled to play through September 3.
The move makes the production potentially the Main Stem's first post-Tonys casualty. The work failed to get a nomination in the coveted Best Play category, despite getting nods in five other categories. The production ultimately took three design categories, winning for its scenic (Tim Hatley and Andrzej Goulding), lighting (Tim Lutkin), and sound designs (Carolyn Downing). Those wins ranked Life of Pi second amongst the season's plays, behind Leopoldstadt (which had four wins, including Best Play). Read the full list of this year's Tony winners here.
But the Broadway closure does not mean Life of Pi is done with North America. Producers have revealed that the play will embark on a North American tour beginning in the fall of 2024, with locations and dates to be announced.
Hiran Abeysekera, currently reprising his Olivier-winning performance in the title role for the Broadway run, will play his final performance July 9. Uma Paranjpe will succeed Abeysekera beginning July 11. Paranjpe's Pi will be a female character, using a gender-flipped version of Lolita Chakrabarti’s original script (Paranjpe has been the understudy for Life of Pi and has played the role a few times during its Broadway run).
Life of Pi officially opened at Broadway's Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre March 30 after beginning previews March 9—read reviews here. Based on Yann Martel’s best-selling novel, winner of the Man Booker Prize, the work follows a 16-year-old boy stranded in a lifeboat with a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan, and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger.
They are joined by Brian Thomas Abraham as Cook/Voice of “Richard Parker,” Rajesh Bose as Father, Avery Glymph as Father Martin/Russian Sailor/Rear Admiral Jackson, Mahira Kakkar as Nurse/Amma/Orange Juice, Kirstin Louie as Lulu Chen, Salma Qarnain as Mrs. Biology Kumar/Zaida Khan, Sathya Sridharan as Mamaji/Pandit-Ji, Daisuke Tsuji as Mr. Okamoto/Captain, and Sonya Venugopal as Rani, along with Davis, Wilderink, Nikki Calonge, Rowan Ian Seamus Magee, Jonathan David Martin, Betsy Rosen, Celia Mei Rubin, and Andrew Wilson as Royal Bengal tiger “Richard Parker.”
Director Max Webster (Henry V) leads the production, with a creative team that consists of Tony- and Olivier-winning set and costume designer Tim Hatley, puppet and movement director Finn Caldwell (Angels in America), Olivier-winning puppet designers Nick Barnes (Angels in America) and Caldwell, Olivier-winning video designer Andrzej Goulding (Eureka Day), Olivier-winning lighting designer Tim Lutkin (Back to the Future), and sound designer Carolyn Downing (Les Liaisons Dangereuses). Original music is by Andrew T Mackay (Henry V), and dramaturgy is by Jack Bradley.
The work's West End production took home five 2022 Olivier Awards, including Best Play and Best Supporting Actor, with the latter awarded collectively to the team of puppeteers who play the tiger. The play made its North American premiere ahead of their Broadway bow at American Repertory Theater at Harvard University.
The Broadway run is produced by Simon Friend, Daryl Roth, Hal Luftig, Mark Gordon, Playing Field, Tulchin/Bartner Productions, Gavin Kalin, Hunter Arnold, Hall Smalberg Winkler, 42nd.club, Elizabeth Armstrong, Eilene Davidson, Federman Jenen Productions, Susan Gallin, Independent Presenters Network, John Gore Organization, Kuhn Dodani, Harriet Leve, Mary Lu Roffe, Catherine Schreiber, Anthony Tang, Triple Threat Productions, American Repertory Theatre, and Sheffield Theatres. Aaron Lustbader and Hanna Osmolska serve as executive producers.