re: Broadway shows that closed during previews
Last Edit: keikekaze 04:21 pm EDT 03/21/20
Posted by: keikekaze 04:15 pm EDT 03/21/20
In reply to: Broadway shows that closed during previews - mikem 10:46 am EDT 03/21/20

As others have said below, that Wikipedia page is far from complete. These shows closed after fewer than 20 performances in the 1959-60 season alone:

Happy Town (M), Oct. 7, 1959, 5 performances
Moonbirds, Oct. 9, 3
Flowering Cherry, Oct. 21, 5
The Girls Against the Boys (revue), Nov. 2, 16
Jolly's Progress, Dec. 5, 9
A Mighty Man Is He, Jan. 6, 1960, 5
A Distant Bell, Jan. 13, 5
Cut of the Axe, Feb. 1, 2
Roman Candle, Feb. 3, 5
A Lovely Light, Feb. 8, 17 (Dorothy Stickney as Edna St. Vincent Millay--this might have been a limited engagement; I'm not sure)
Beg, Borrow, or Steal (M), Feb. 10, 5
The Long Dream, Feb. 17, 5
The Cool World, Feb. 22, 2
The Tumbler, Feb. 24, 5
There Was a Little Girl, Feb. 29, 16 (Jane Fonda's Broadway debut)
Semi-Detached, Mar. 10, 4
One More River, Mar. 18, 3
Viva Madison Avenue!, Apr. 6, 2
Christine (M), Apr. 28, 12

"(M)" means musical. That season was not atypical. It had the usual number of hits (if not rather more than the usual number) and was not especially flop-prone for that era. Every season from the '30s through the '60s would have at least 10 or 20 shows that closed in two weeks or less, and in the '20s (when over-all production was higher) there were many more than that. Shows didn't close in previews in those days because most shows didn't have New York previews. The shows that were going to be dire flops either closed during their out-of-town tryouts, or managed to survive to a Broadway opening, get (usually) terrible reviews, and close immediately afterward.

The most complete online record of Broadway production activity I know of is IBDb.com. You can search for any Broadway season by keying the years into the search box (i.e., "1959-1960" in that format, not "1959-60") and selecting "Season" from the menu immediately to the right. Voila, a chronological list of all that season's Broadway productions appears. Then you just click on any title for further information about that show.
Link Internet Broadway Database

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