Music legend, Sting was unable to rescue his ailing Broadway musical, “The Last Ship” even after he joined the cast himself and put his own musical pedigree under the spotlight as a result. The actor and frontman of the anglo-American? pop group, The Police was not originally part of the production depicting life in the shipyards in Tyneside, but was brought in to replace Jimmy Nail’s (“Auf Wiedersehen,Pet” and “Crocodile Shoes”) role as a shipyard foreman in December, as the show was failing to become the smash that it had been hoped to become and it needed a boost to the ticket sales at the box office. The show is now due to close for good to coincide with Sting’s departure on 24th January, when he is contractually committed to join up for a tour with Paul Simon, after a run of just four months.

It had been hoped that Sting could enliven the production and perhaps appeal to his American fans, especially as he wrote the songs used in the musical. Although there was some initial upturn in the show’s fortunes, it proved only a temporary reprieve as the projections for sales after Sting’s departure were not promising. However, it now seems that the producers will lose their not unsubstantial investment in the show to the tune of $14 - $15 million, although there was some recouping from ticket sales to the tune of around $8.5 milion.

Several theories as to why the musical flopped have been postulated, including the central theme which covered the troubled lives of people in the shipbuilding industry and young people in general in a British town. Perhaps the American audience could not relate to the main subject matter of the shipyards, which was the focus of the advertising campaign that preceded the launch, especially women who constitute around 70% of the audiences on Broadway. Rather late in the day it has been suggested that they would have been better served to have highlighted the young love story that features heavily in the musical. The producers were also surprised that more of the legions of Sting fans (from his days with “The Police” and also the successful solo career he enjoyed afterwards) were not enticed to watch the show. However, the show featured mainly new works from Sting, rather than plugging his back catalogue of hits, with many feeling that a homage to that era may have served him better in re-invigorating its fortunes.

Not that the show was viewed as a complete failure by all of the people who attended, as it received mixed reviews with many being positive in their analysis. Indeed, USA Today went as far as naming it as the best musical of 2014. 
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