Hollywood stars have come forward to help a new Broadway show that was set to close due to low ticket sales. Celebrities such as Tyler Perry and Shonda Rhimes bought a full performance of “Ain’t No Mo” this week in an effort to extend the show’s run. The plan worked — on Thursday, playwright Jordan E. Cooper announced that “Ain’t No Mo” had been extended to December 23.
Cooper, who also stars in the show, said earlier this week that he had received an eviction notice saying the drama was to close on December 18. Marketing doesn’t work for shows like this.”
“Ain’t No Mo” premiered at The Public Theater on November 9 and then moved to the Belasco Theatre, which holds approximately 1,000 audience members. The play’s website says the 90-minute play “dares to ask the incendiary question, ‘What if the US government gave black Americans one-way plane tickets to Africa? ‘” ,
Cooper launched a campaign to save his show on Instagram last week using the hashtag #SaveAINTNOMO. He stated that the average ticket price was $50 to make the show accessible to all and asked supporters who could sponsor someone’s ticket to do so.
“In the name of art, in the name of resistance we are here too, in the name of every story-telling forefather who came to the Broadway stage or was told they would never be able to, please support this production and buy tickets and come We have the Church with us,” he wrote. “Radical black work is on Broadway too.”
A day after posting his plea for support, Cooper posted that a celebrity couple stepped up to help in a big way — Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith bought an entire display.
Soon, other celebrities were joining in. Cooper announced on Thursday that more performances had been bought by filmmaker Tyler Perry; actress Gabrielle Union and her husband, former NBA star Dwyane Wade; producer and director Shonda Rhimes; and actress Sara Ramirez.
Other celebrities are supporting the show in different ways: writer and actor Lena Waithe hosted a talk following the December 13 performance and RuPaul hosted the December 15 performance.
Now — thanks to the efforts of “some mighty warriors” as Cooper puts it — the show won’t close this weekend and has been extended until December 23.
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