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Hillary Clinton's 'Suffs' Struggles With Low Attendance On Broadway

 May 13, 2024

Amid the buzz of Broadway's peak season, "Suffs," produced by Hillary Clinton and focusing on the women's suffrage movement, has not managed to draw expected crowds.

Despite its historical significance and recent debut, "Suffs" only reached 81% capacity in early May, ranking low among Broadway shows, Fox News reported.

"Suffs," a Broadway production depicting the fight for women's voting rights in the early 1900s, recently opened its doors after a stint Off-Broadway at The Public Theater in New York City.

The musical, envisioned by Shaina Taub, takes a dramatic look at the events leading up to the 1913 march on Washington, aiming to sway public and political opinion towards women’s suffrage.

It also marks the Broadway directing efforts of Leigh Silverman, alongside producers Jill Furman, Rachel Sussman, and notable figures such as Hillary Clinton and Malala Yousafzai.

Produced By Notable Personalities, Yet Facing Box Office Challenges

Last month's statistics show a troubling start for the play, with attendance figures even lower the week before May 5, filling only 78% of its nearly 8,000 seats.

This places "Suffs" in the bottom quarter of Broadway's offerings, competing against giants like "Harry Potter and The Cursed Child" and "Moulin Rouge! The Musical."

The ensemble cast, comprising entirely of female and non-binary performers, includes Tony winner Nikki M. James and Jenn Colella, with Grace McLean portraying President Woodrow Wilson.

Historical Narrative Intersected With Modern Production Values

The production's approach to telling the suffrage story includes exploring both the triumphs and setbacks faced by the movement.

According to Hillary Clinton in an interview with the Associated Press, she draws personal parallels with the characters, relating to the complexities of enacting change and forging crucial relationships.

Clinton's reflections underscore the contemporary relevance of the suffrage movement, mirroring challenges still present in modern-day America.

Public Reaction and Critical Reviews Reflect Mixed Feelings

The play's performance issues were highlighted by Breitbart News, which noted that "Suffs" should be drawing significant audiences, especially during Broadway’s busiest month before the Tony Awards.

The report pointed out that the play's struggles are notable especially because it is a new show, which typically garners more interest.

Despite these criticisms, the production team and cast continue to push forward, hopeful that attendance will pick up as more people learn about the play’s unique perspective on a pivotal moment in history.

Continuing Struggles Despite Star-Studded Production Team

Vice President Harris’s niece, Meena Harris, also joins the production team, adding to the high-profile nature of the play's backers.

Yet, the allure of celebrity involvement has not translated into filling seats, a concern for the producers as they navigate the competitive Broadway landscape.

The play's length at three hours might also contribute to its box office challenges, demanding a significant time commitment from its audience.

A Broadway Effort To Highlight Women's History Through Theatre

"Suffs" aims to educate and inspire by bringing the suffrage movement’s story to a new generation, emphasizing the struggle and determination of those who fought for women’s right to vote.

The play’s importance as an educational tool is highlighted by its creators, who hope it will ignite discussions on gender equality and historical awareness.

With its critical historical themes and unique casting choices, "Suffs" attempts to blend artistic endeavor with social commentary, a challenging yet noble undertaking on Broadway.

Looking Forward: The Future of 'Suffs' on Broadway

As "Suffs" continues its run, the producers are likely focused on boosting attendance through marketing and outreach efforts.

With the potential for increased interest due to its educational value and the discussions it may inspire, there is hope that "Suffs" could yet turn its fortunes around.

For now, the Broadway community and its audiences will watch closely to see if this play can overcome its initial hurdles and truly make an impact.

In conclusion, "Suffs" represents a significant endeavor to portray a pivotal era in women’s history through the powerful medium of musical theatre. Despite initial low attendance figures and competitive challenges, its story of perseverance mirrors the very essence of the movement it depicts.

With continued efforts from its dedicated production team and cast, there is potential for "Suffs" to leave a lasting mark on Broadway.