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Broadway's 'Be More Chill,' with 2 LIers, is closing in August

Locust Valley-raised Will Roland, in hoodie, stars in

Locust Valley-raised Will Roland, in hoodie, stars in "Be More Chill." Credit: Maria Baranova

"Be More Chill," the internet sensation show with music written by Garden City's Joe Iconis and starring Will Roland of Locust Valley, will close on Aug. 11.

"I'm beyond proud that our little underdog musical played for the better part of a year in New York City, and that half of that year was spent on Broadway," said Iconis, surrounded by the cast, as he announced the closing on stage at the Lyceum Theatre after Thursday's curtain call.

"If 'Be More Chill' ran for six days, or six months, or six years, it would be too short," wrote Roland on Twitter, noting that the show has closed before. "Its journey is still just beginning." Roland plays "loser geek" Jeremy, an insecure, nerdy teen who swallows a computer chip he believes will make him more popular.

The show's vast network of social-media fans did not take the announcement lightly, with fans virtually weeping via Twitter and Instagram. That's only appropriate since the show, written by Joe Tracz and based on the young-adult novel by Ned Vizzini, got its start online, after the cast album from the initial 2015 run at a small theater in New Jersey went viral. The growing popularity of the music led to an Off-Broadway production at the Signature Theatre last summer that all but sold out before the first preview.

The Broadway run opened March 10, but received only one Tony nomination, for Iconis' score, and ticket sales have been lagging, with the show last week taking in just 64 percent of its potential. When the show closes, it will have played 30 previews and 177 performances.  A movie is reportedly in the works, though no timeline has been set.

Overall, it's been a couple of rough weeks on Broadway, the typical post-Tony shakeout. "The Prom" announced it will also end its run on Aug. 11, while "Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus" closed June 16, a month a head of its scheduled end date, and "Hillary and Clinton" ends it run this Sunday, also a month ahead of schedule.

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