‘Bad Cinderella’ hemorrhaging cash as 2023 Tony noms approach

The situation has gone from “Bad” to worse.

Over at Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Bad Cinderella” on Broadway, advertising agency RPM and the production have cut ties — with just two weeks to go until Tony Award nominations are announced.

“The change has been made to work more strategically to find our audience,” producer Christine Schwarzman told The Post. 

“Setting this new course, we found ourselves not aligned with our previous marketing agency in terms of steps that needed to be taken. We agreed to part ways and wish them the best.”

A person close to RPM, however, bristled, saying that the campaign was “the only good thing” about the maligned musical and that the agency had resigned the account.

Schwarzman noted that the production is now working with SpotCo, Sine Digital and Super Awesome Friends.

Regardless, for “Bad Cinderella,” midnight grows ever closer.

The show show received across-the-board pans from critics — “a wacko fairytale dumpster fire,” said The Post; “Bring earplugs … Bring eye plugs,” echoed the Times.

On March 25, the day after it opened, a source claimed the show did a paltry $80,000 in ticket sales. 

Another said the number was “significantly higher,” but box-office business has demonstrably not been brisk.

For a more than $20 million musical, $750,000 would have been an ideal take after the enhanced visibility from reviews. But the notices were lousy and word of mouth stinks.

Its weekly grosses are anemic — the show took in just $571,000 last week, which was its second lowest take so far — and the advance is said to be nonexistent.

Producer Christine Schwarzman says the musical “Bad Cinderella” is charting “a new course.”
Variety via Getty Images

Multiple sources also said there has been little communication between Lloyd Webber and Schwarzman, and that the two disagree on whether the money-draining musical should remain open.

They claim the legendary composer says no, and the fledgling producer says yes.

A spokesman for Lloyd Webber denied the spat.

“Andrew and Christine have been thick as thieves lately. They dined together, and she was with him at ‘Morning Joe’ and ‘The Tonight Show’ yesterday,” he said.

Last week onstage at the Imperial Theatre, Lloyd Webber — whose “The Phantom of the Opera” closed Sunday after 35 years — defended his latest show and suggested the crowd throw “well-aimed apples” at New York theater critics. 

Two “Bad Cinderella” cast members
The show received across-the-board pans from critics.
Evan Zimmerman

The original Broadway campaign for the show featured a stark red color scheme and in-your-face messaging.

In one recent online ad, the New York Times review is defaced and replaced with plaudits from renowned theater critic Bethenny Frankel of “The Real Housewives of New York City.”

“I laughed, I enjoyed it, it’s f – – king fun. And fabulous!” Frankel’s quote reads.

Now, an incredulous source said Schwarzman “wants all the advertising to look like Rodgers and Hammerstein.”

“Bad Cinderella” already had a more traditional sales pitch in London, where the show was simply called “Cinderella.”

The West End poster was a calm, royal blue, but the production was still a flop that closed early.

The musical is a modern spin on the old fairy tale.
The musical is a modern spin on the old fairy tale.
Bruce Glikas/WireImage

But Schwarzman isn’t leaving the ball just yet.

“We’re going to fight to keep our show going while we reach our broader audience,” she said.

“We know the odds of success, but we wouldn’t be producers worth our salt if we didn’t make every smart move we can to back our show, our company and one of the greatest musical theater artists of all time.”

She’s right about one thing: The chances of “Bad Cinderella” becoming a profitable hit are tiny — or, as the Fairy Godmother in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” sings, “Impossible!” — even if it scores a healthy number of Tony nods on May 2. 

And that’s hardly guaranteed in a crowded field of musicals.

Over in London, the show only managed a single Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Musical, which it did not win.

That empty-handed trend could be repeated stateside.

“It will be shut out from every Tony,” a source said.