“Ain’t No Mo’,” a raucously funny and provocative new Broadway play imagining that the United States tries to end racism by offering to send Black Americans to Africa, will close on Dec. 18, a little more than two weeks after opening.
The play is the third show this fall to abruptly truncate its planned run based on poor ticket sales, following the musical “KPOP” and Gabriel Byrne’s one-man show, “Walking With Ghosts.”
“Ain’t No Mo’,” written by and starring Jordan E. Cooper, had a well-received Off Broadway run at the Public Theater in 2019. The Broadway run opened Dec. 1 to positive reviews, but sold poorly from the get-go.
Just before curtain on Friday night Cooper wrote in an Instagram post that the show is being forced to depart and urged fans to buy tickets to keep the show going. “Now they’ve posted an eviction notice,” he wrote. “But thank God Black people are immune to eviction notices.”
Last week — the week that ended Dec. 4 — the show grossed a paltry $120,901, which is well below its weekly running costs, and had an average ticket price of $21.36, which was the lowest on Broadway. (The average ticket price for all shows that week was $128.34.)
The show, directed by Stevie Walker-Webb, was the first Broadway producing venture by Lee Daniels, the Hollywood screenwriter, director and producer, and the producing team ultimately included Black Entertainment Television, the drag queen RuPaul Charles, the playwright Jeremy O. Harris, the actors Lena Waithe and Gabrielle Union, the football player CJ Uzomah, the former basketball player Dwyane Wade and others. The show was capitalized for up to $5.5 million, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission; that money has not been recouped.
At the time of its closing it will have played 22 preview performances and 21 regular performances.