Sting's first Broadway musical, "The Last Ship," will close Jan. 24, three months after the show opened Oct. 26 to mixed reviews. Although grosses and attendance have gone up since the pop icon joined the production Dec. 9, the show never dramatically took off at the box office, playing to 83.3 percent capacity on Broadway's busiest holiday week ever.
Sting was scheduled to leave the cast Jan. 24, leaving the semiautobiographical show without its star, composer and marketing cheer leader in the middle of Broadway's harshest time of the year. The $14 million had lost money weekly before he came aboard the working-class folk fable about a depressed English shipbuilding town very much like the one where he grew up.
"The Last Ship" was generally praised for the music and dismissed for its improbable story and dark staging. The show's album made its debut last week as #1 on Billboard's Cast Albums Chart.
The closing notice comes as the Broadway League has announced a record holiday season and the best attendance and grossing year in its history.