It was doomed from the start. Alec Baldwin’s Tony-nominated play, Orphans, has been cut short on Broadway due to poor sales. It will shut down on May 19 after 64 performances.

Things were looking promising for a while; it grabbed a nomination for play revival and one for Tom Sturridge in the lead actor category. The money wasn’t too bad either to begin with, earning more than $650,000 in its first full week of previews, but ultimately, the show was doomed. Shia LaBeouf’s exit from the play was well-documented, and founded itself in creative differences with Baldwin and the show’s director, Daniel Sullivan. Emails were sent, publically shared, then argued about, because they were publically shared. It was pretty ugly, but at the time, looked to represent some priceless PR for the play. LaBeouf even attended the premiere, sat in the front row and slapped his program on the stage in ‘approval’ as others clapped. If the show wasn’t going to be big for its story, the furore surrounding it was sure to guarantee ticket sales, wasn’t it?

Obviously not, but what went wrong? It’s pretty difficult to tell, but Broadway hasn’t exactly been booming of late with increased austerity. What’s stranger is that shows with Tony noms rarely get cut of early, but most agree that the musical category is the only one that boosts sales, but to see a drop so dramatic will have been scary for Baldwin et al.

Alec BaldwinBen Foster, Tom Sturridge and Alec Baldwin are saying goodbye to Orphens