Wait I'm confused on what happened with Oak and the The Great Comet??? What happened????
Okay. Essentially, from my understanding, what happened is this:
I think the idea for casting Oak was that he’d bring in increased revenue due to his success as a previous member of the cast of Hamilton, and that…didn’t really happen, at least not at the level the people behind TGC wanted. TGC is doing well, but because its base production is so expensive, it has to do beyond even that in order to actually turn a good profit.
The main issue, probably, is that it seems like Oak is really well-known among younger people….but younger people aren’t the biggest Broadway ticket buyers. Older people are. The average age of a Broadwaygoer is 44. Older people (not that 44 is old, just older) are way more likely to be familiar with Mandy Patinkin (he’s got a Tony and an Emmy and a bizillion nominations too) just at name and face value, and therefore more likely to buy tickets–probably at a higher price, too–with him in the show than with Oak.
That’s what they’re saying at least. Seems like a bit of a cop-out to me, but.
That’s the jist of it. Ticket sales. I mean, a least that’s what we’re being told. But obviously, there’s a lot more. It’s…complicated. The entire situation was dealt with horribly, and I can’t help but feel really truly awful for Oak. He put so much into his performance and it was so critically acclaimed, (it seems like ticket sales were actually starting to increase after all of those reviews were released, and then this happened) it’s just… Some people are saying he might return, but I can’t find any confirmations. He’s an incredibly talented performer who deserves more and definitely wasn’t treated with respectfully. The entire situation just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
I’ll link some other posts that have explained the rest of this better (and with more perspectives) than I ever could:
What Happened to Oak by @washingtononyourside
On Oak’s Forced Leave by @something-theatrical (I highly suggest reading some of the notes on this post as well)
@sillyhypotheticals also detailed why, precisely, this whole situation is so bad, right here.
Overall. It’s just. A mess.