New Musical “Dear Evan Hansen” Poised for Hit Status
This past week, the week ending November 20, 2016, Dear Evan Hansen began previews and played an almost full week of seven performances. In that time, the show brought in $804,291, which represented 91.4% of its gross potential. With a top ticket price of $248.00, the average paid admission was an impressive $119.05, and the audience was filled up to 98.1%. This new musical transferred to Broadway after a successful Off-Broadway run at Second Stage, in addition to regional productions. It is the story of a high school boy named Evan Hansen, who transforms from outcast to school hero when the school bully, Connor, who used to pick on him, commits suicide and a letter is found, ostensibly from Connor to Evan, that reveals Evan was Connor’s one and only friend. However, this letter was a fake, as it was actually written by Evan as an exercise suggested by Evan’s therapist. The musical then deals with the lie becoming a bigger and bigger burden and how it eventually unravels, while shedding light on what can bring a community together in times of hardship, as well as the common ground that exists between even the most apparently different individuals.
With the exception of Dear Evan Hansen, very few shows performed at their best this past week. One other exception is Hamilton, which increased by $1,910 from last week to reach a weekly gross of $2,454,656, which represents 126.3% of its gross potential. However, other shows did not perform as well. The Color Purple saw a decrease of $299,522, bringing in just $396,147 over eight performances, which represents just 39.0% of its gross potential. This show is scheduled to close on January 8, 2017, but at this rate it may be hard to get through the holiday season. Wicked also saw a big decrease in sales, going down by $271,355 to reach a much more palatable gross of $1,481,062, which is still just 83.2% of its gross potential. Kinky Boots went down by $185,099 to reach a weekly gross of $703,032, and The Phantom of the Opera went down by $174,931 to reach a weekly gross of $731,274. Even the new musical Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 saw a significant dip of $149,814, bringing it to a weekly gross of $888,329, or 90.3% of its gross potential. Other decreases were seen by School of Rock – the Musical, which went down by $103,694 to reach a weekly gross of $958,281, Matilda which went down by $85,051 to reach a weekly gross of $870,124, Waitress which went down by $80,674 to reach a weekly gross of $844,022, Something Rotten! which went down by $78,110 to reach a weekly gross of $596,494, and Aladdin which went down by $69,100 to reach a weekly gross of $1,356,518. Overall, out of the 32 shows currently running, the entire industry saw a decrease in collective gross of $1,114,481, which is 4.71% lower than last week.
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