%% NOTE: Real life examples only. In-universe examples go on TroubledProduction/FictionalExamples.
->''"If Hitler is alive, I hope he's out of town with a musical."''
-->-- '''Creator/LarryGelbart'''

* ''Theatre/SpiderManTurnOffTheDark'', TheMusical take on [[SpiderMan the comic book]] and the Sam Raimi movie adaptations, had a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spider-Man:_Turn_Off_the_Dark#History hard time just getting to its preview period]] on Broadway... whereupon things went FromBadToWorse due to seemingly endless injuries to its performers, inspiring parodies on ''Series/{{Conan}}'', snarky coverage by TheOnion A.V. Club, endless snark in general from ''Magazine/{{MAD}}'', and a RippedFromTheHeadlines episode of ''LawAndOrderCriminalIntent'' -- even ''SesameStreet'' got in on making fun of it. With a $65 million budget, it would have to sell out for three years to break even. The preview period kept getting extended, and finally theater critics had enough and wrote/ran reviews of the February 7, 2011 performance (which, had it not been pushed back ''again'', was supposed to be the official opening date)... most of which were [[http://www.avclub.com/articles/spiderman-turn-off-the-dark-terrible-or-make-it-st,51518/ scathing]]. In response, the producers (finally!) panicked and brought in script doctors, along with having Bono and The Edge write new music. Director (and famous prima donna) Julie Taymor refused to go along with the changes and was either fired or quit. It finally opened in June 2011.
** In January 2012, the producers suggested that the show might periodically add new scenes and songs to encourage repeat customers. The cautionary tale continued to unfold: Taymor has filed suit against the producers and Bono and The Edge, claiming that not only that she was unjustly fired but also that they used her rewrites afteward, without giving her credit.
** In August 2013, yet ''another'' performer was seriously injured during a performance.
** Then it was the ticket sales that fell to their doom; in November the show was confirmed to be closing in January 2014, with $60 million of the producers' investment due to be lost according to ''New York'' magazine. Initially intended to reopen in Las Vegas in 2015, the producers have since decided to launch an arena tour in 2015 or '16, but stay tuned...
* In 1995, StephenSondheim and John Weidman received a commission to write a musical about the lives of Wilson and Addison Mizner. By 2004, when the show's score was recorded under its third WorkingTitle, ''Bounce'', production had seemingly been abandoned. It finally made it to New York in 2008 as ''Road Show'', but it didn't last long.
* Trouble with ''Theatre/{{Chess}}'' in London started when its original director had to drop out before just before rehearsals, then went on to include trouble with the show's highly technical sets that threatened its ability to open on time. Then the Broadway rewrite (which ended up torn apart by critics and flopped) had enough behind-the-scenes drama that ''Vanity Fair'' wrote a feature on it, including claims of a director was nearly unreachable, an ill producer, and a rush to open the show in time to compete with Andrew Lloyd Webber's ''The Phantom of the Opera''.
* ''ThePhantomOfTheOpera'' itself underwent much upheaval during its development and preview days -- numerous cast changes, backstage bickering over such changes, props and equipment frequently breaking down, and massive overhauling of nearly all the lyrics. Then, just as the show finally debuted, both of its lead actors took ill (Michael Crawford suffered a hiatal hernia owing to the demanding score, and Steve Barton -- cast as Raoul -- suffered a fall after he replaced him as the Phantom) and then the ''understudies'' were knocked out of commission as well.
** After Webber began work in earnest on the sequel ''Theatre/LoveNeverDies'' after years in DevelopmentHell, his cat climbed on his digital piano and accidentally deleted the score. Plans to open the show in three different countries (England, the U.S., and China) at once fell through due to logisitics. That was probably for the best: The London production was so poorly received, particularly by the ''Phantom'' fanbase, that by the end of 2010 it was extensively retooled. But the highly-unpopular underlying plot and changes to the characters were mostly intact, and it ultimately ran less than two years. Despite attempts to drum up interest by filming a better-received Australian staging for video release, only Denmark and Japan have taken the bait so far, with the Broadway production that was supposed to follow on from London's in Fall 2010 indefinitely postponed -- not for a lack of effort on Lloyd Webber's part.
* The now-canceled Broadway production of the musical adapation of ''{{Rebecca}}'', as detailed [[http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/25/theater/rebecca-the-musical-and-the-vanishing-act-of-its-investor.html here]]. After a successful run in continental Europe, producer Ben Sprecher canceled the London production as too costly. Even so, he decided it was ready for ''Broadway''. A mysterious British investor, supposedly named "Paul Abrams", then put $4.5 million into the play... more than 10 times what the biggest-rolling investors usually throw into a Broadway musical, even one that's been wildly successful in London. But no one had ever heard of Abrams, and the producers later claimed they never met him in person. In September 2012, Abrams supposedly died of malaria. Yet there had been no obituaries for a wealthy man who died of malaria in the British newspapers, and no death certificates listed malaria as a cause. A spokesman for the estate refused to take phone calls, and used an email address that had been created a month earlier. Sprecher (who had never been lead producer on a Broadway musical) had already built the sets, so he lost millions when the production was canceled the following month. The FBI arrested a stockbroker on Long Island for his attempt to defraud the producers by fabricating the foreign investors who were prepared to put the $4.5 million in.
* ''Dance of the Vampires'', the Broadway version of ''TanzDerVampire'', was [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dance_of_the_vampires#Broadway probably doomed from the start]]. To summarize from the Other Wiki: It was supposed to open in 1998 but didn't until 2002, for reasons that ranged from having to find a new director (owing to the original, Creator/RomanPolanski, being unable to return to the U.S. without facing arrest on infamous rape charges) to the 9-11 attacks! As the ball got rolling, the script received an extensive, jokier rewrite to appeal to American audiences who no longer cared for European "megamusicals", and the changes kept on coming with the casting of Michael Crawford as Krolock; he had creative control over his dialogue, costumes, etc. Composer Jim Steinman was ultimately fired from his own show over not showing up to rehearsals. The director and choreographer, both fresh from ''{{Urinetown}}'', proved unable to handle a production of this size and style, especially with so many dueling ideas and egos about. The result lasted only 56 performances and its reputation has so far discouraged other English-language productions.
* The popular Broadway musical ''Theatre/{{RENT}}'' underwent some large production troubles. The idea was originally thought up by Billy Aronson. He teamed up with 29-year old composer Jonathan Larson and started writing the songs in 1989. Busy with other personal commitments, Aronson dropped the project and Larson picked it back up a couple of years later. In 1993 it had its first on-stage reading which resulted in some criticism against the musical's over-complexity and length. A workshop version was penned and performed in 1994, which resulted in even more tweaks needing to be made to the story, and Larson ''again'' having to rework the songs to fit the changes. Funding started to become an issue as many investors feared the musical's then-controversial subject matter, causing Larson to have to turn to other sources for money. When he finally got a steady cast together and the show was scheduled to make its debut in early 1996, Larson died from an undiagnosed aortic aneurysm. His death caused the first preview of the musical to be canceled and the play was performed in front of a private audience in his memory. Ultimately it made its off-Broadway premiere on time and has since become one of the most beloved musicals of the 1990s.
* Creator/CirqueDuSoleil productions have their ups and downs on the way to opening night, but ''Theatre/BananaShpeel'' was truly troubled. The original concept -- a fusion of Cirque's "house style", {{Vaudeville}}, and TheMusical -- proved to be too much for one coherent show, so the major characters who were going to handle the songs were dropped and new composers hired AFTER the 2008 ''AmericasGotTalent'' finale featured the singers in question in a preview segment. Now a {{Slapstick}}-heavy show with only two acrobatic setpieces, it bombed with critics in its Chicago tryout at the end of 2009. A second revision with more acrobatics and a ''third'' score took so long to put together (with two comic principals being fired and rehired over the period) that its New York City debut was delayed by months. This ran into another problem -- Cirque's grand plan for 2010 was for ''Shpeel'' to debut in late winter and run indefinitely at the Beacon Theatre, while the tent tour ''Theatre/{{OVO}}'' had a springtime engagement and ''Wintuk'' a holiday season one. The delays meant that ''OVO'' arrived first... and ''Shpeel'', with reviews far worse than ''OVO'''s, was stuck in its shadow. The show closed in two months. Cirque tried to take it on the road afterward, but it closed permanently after one month in Toronto -- the company's first complete failure amongst its live shows.
* Before ''Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark'' hit Broadway, 1983's ''Merlin'' was a fantasy musical (presenting the famous Arthurian character in his younger days) that had its own overlong preview period, with an official opening that was postponed three times to the annoyance of critics. The spectacle wasn't the problem -- leading man Doug Henning was a StageMagician legend who'd previously had a hit with ''The Magic Show'' in TheSeventies and his tricks for this show were equally impressive. But he didn't have to do much singing in the older show (StephenSchwartz gave the tunes to his supporting cast), and in this one he did... at least initially, as by the end of previews all his singing was cut. The original director was cut too, replaced by co-producer Ivan Reitman, and a second choreographer was added. Making matters worse, the Broadway production of ''Theatre/{{Cats}}'' opened just months before and monopolized the attention of theatergoers -- particularly the families which ''Merlin'' obviously hoped to court. The producers pressed on ("It was the musical that wouldn't disappear" according to Nathan Lane, who played a bumbling villain), and it managed five Tony nominations in a weak season, but it won none and closed after 199 regular performances.
* ''Theatre/FunnyGirl'' went on to be a hit, but its pre-Broadway tryout suffered serious troubles. The opening performance in Boston was practically a fiasco. Feuds arose between Music/BarbraStreisand and Sydney Chaplin, and between everyone and the notoriously temperamental Jerome Robbins when he took over from credited director Garson Kanin. Ghostwriters struggled to keep up with rewrites demanded by Streisand and the Arnstein family (the show's producer was Nick Arnstein's son-in-law). Chaplin's part became equal to Streisand's in billing only; a secondary female role played by Allyn Ann [=McLerie=] was written out entirely. Dozens of {{Cut Song}}s were thrown out, and dance routines were in a constant state of flux. The final scene was rewritten 42 times, and its final version was being rehearsed immediately prior to the Broadway opening, which had been repeatedly postponed.
* Creator/RichardWagner's second opera, ''Das Liebesverbot'' (based on ''Theatre/MeasureForMeasure''), was his first opera to be staged, albeit with severe cuts. The Magdeburg company's opening night performance was ruined by underrehearsed singers and orchestra. Their second performance never even started, due to a feud breaking out among the cast. The opera was not performed again until 1923.
* ''Hot Spot'', a musical burlesque of the Peace Corps that flopped on Broadway in 1963 with an ailing Judy Holliday in her final starring role, had more than its share of troubles. Four days before rehearsals started, orchestrator Robert Ginzler (''Theatre/{{Gypsy}}'', ''Theatre/ByeByeBirdie'' and ''Theatre/HowToSucceedInBusinessWithoutReallyTrying'') suffered a fatal heart attack. The preview period was repeatedly extended for numerous ghostwriters (including Creator/StephenSondheim, who helped write a new opening number) to improve the book and lyrics. By one account, the show went through nine directors. Herbert Ross ultimately took over both direction and choreography, but the program credited nobody for either.
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