“The Ruins of Civilization” Added to MTC Season

Amidst Criticism That The Season Lacked Diversity

The Ruins of Civilization will be a world premiere Manhattan Theatre Club production in spring 2016. It is written a British playwright named Penelope Skinner, whose previous plays include The Village Bike (staged at MCC last year), Fred’s Diner, and Eigengrau. Skinner has received several awards for promising young playwrights, and she recently co-wrote the screenplay to the feature film How I Live Now.

Penelope Skinner

Penelope Skinner

However, the buzz about the announcement of her world premiere at MTC was not focused on her precocious accomplishments; rather, it has been squarely aimed at the discussion of how she is a woman. The reason is that Lynne Meadow, the artistic director of the Manhattan Theatre Club, had previously announced seven of the eight plays of their 2015 to 2016 season, all seven of which are written by white men. This was revealed in a post last week in American Theatre Magazine. There was immediate outcry online, with prominent playwright Paula Vogel tweeting “for a woman in theatre who attended Bryn Mawr, where is your sisterhood?” Then the playwright Kristoffer Diaz followed up with a tweet that said he would love to discuss strategies for approaching the goal stated in MTC’s mission to produce works “as diverse as NYC itself.”

Nonetheless, An Excellent MTC Season of Accomplished Playwrights

Lynne Meadow

Lynne Meadow

Manhattan Theatre Club produces both Broadway and Off-Broadway. Their Broadway season will kick off with Sam Shepherd’s 1983 play Fool for Love at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, starring Sam Rockwell and Nina Arianda. That play is directed by Daniel Aukin, who staged a rendition at last summer’s Williamstown Theatre Festival. The next Broadway show at the Friedman Theatre, which will open in January 2016, is Richard Greenberg’s play Our Mother’s Brief Affair, directed by Lynne Meadow and starring Linda Lavin. In April 2016, MTC will produce a Broadway production of Florian Zeller’s new play The Father, starring Frank Langella in a production directed by Doug Hughes. The Off-Broadway offerings, presented at New York City Center Stages I and II, include Ripcord by David Lindsay-Abaire directed by David Hyde Pierce and starring Holland Taylor, Rachel Dratch, and Marylouise Burke; Important Hats of the 20th Century by Nick Jones and directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel; John Patrick Shanley’s new play Prodigal Son, directed by Shanley and starring Robert Sean Leonard; and Nick Payne’s play Incognito.

Two of the Eight Plays are Directed by Women

The recent announcement of Penelope Skinner’s The Ruins of Civilization was made in haste due to the backlash, and the director has not yet been fully confirmed, but it is slated to be Lila Neugebauer. Skinner declared she felt strongly that a woman was best to direct this play. The only other female director of the season is Lynne Meadow herself, who is to direct Richard Greenberg’s Our Mother’s Brief Affair. It is an unfortunate coincidence that the season came together with all white playwrights and only one woman. In the past four seasons, 43% of the plays were written by women and people of color. Over the past ten years, there have been three seasons at MTC where no playwrights were female, but in five of those years at least half of the playwrights were women. This includes last year, where Lisa D’Amour’s Airline Highway was brought to Broadway amidst similar criticism that MTC continually failed to produce a play by a female playwright on their Broadway stage. Also over the past four years, 28 of the 49 commissions that MTC made for new plays went to women and minorities.

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 8/23/2015

This week’s notable movements on Broadway are:

A Mild Slump This Week on Broadway

In the week ending August 23, 2015, Broadway continued to bring in lower grosses than the week before. These dips were modest and nothing to be alarmed about; rather, they just indicate that the summer season is winding to a close. Fewer tourists are around, more people are spending their leisure time outdoors rather than indoors to catch the last weeks of summer, and most importantly, most of the currently running shows have been on for a while, and all the new fall shows will soon begin performances. Of the 24 shows that had performances last week, only 4 saw an increase in sales. The highest increase was seen by Finding Neverland with the humble increase of $23,112. Even smaller 4-digit increases were seen by Something Rotten!, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and Amazing Grace. On the other hand, even the biggest decreases were not huge. The biggest dip was seen by The Lion King, with a decrease of $178,877 bringing the weekly gross to $1,986,190. Next, Wicked went down by $161,063 to bring in a weekly gross of $1,751,974. Interestingly, those are also the two highest grossing shows of last week, in that order as well. Therefore, the shows with the biggest luxury to lose comparative box office dollars saw the biggest loss, serving to equalize the grosses slightly. All in all, the industry saw a collective decrease of $993,291 from the week before.

“Hedwig and the Angry Inch” Shows Small Increase as Run Winds Down

Last week, Hedwig and the Angry Inch was one of only four show to show an increase in ticket sales from the week before. Though this increase was slight – an increase of $9,618 from $400,061 last week to $409,679 this most recent week – this still demonstrates that fans are becoming increasingly eager to catch the show before it winds down next month. It was just announced that Hedwig and the Angry Inch will take its final bow on Sunday, September 13, 2015. The role of Hedwig is currently played by Taye Diggs. The revival was initiated with Neil Patrick Harris in the title role, and after Andrew Rannells and Michael C. Hall had a go of it, the title role was then played by the show’s creator, John Cameron Mitchell. This was an historical moment on Broadway, with Mitchell stepping into the shoes he had envisioned decades prior, when the show ran only Off-Broadway. This production has caused a lot of fanfare and celebration, as America and the world have evolved to such a degree that this irreverent musical about a transvestite in East Berlin could be welcomed onto the wider Broadway stage. This past week, the average paid admission was $77.31, with a top ticket price of $248.00. The average capacity across the eight performances was 75.2%, and the box office gross represented 57.75% of the show’s gross potential.

The following are the Broadway ticket sales numbers for the week ending August 23, 2015:Broadway-Show-Ticket-Analysis-08-23-15

Show Name GrossGross TotalAttn  %Capacity  AvgPdAdm
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER $511,816 6,303 86.87% $81.20
ALADDIN $1,720,395 13,756 99.57% $125.07
AMAZING GRACE $308,474 5,062 54.45% $60.94
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS $1,241,467 11,692 87.05% $106.18
BEAUTIFUL $886,955 7,347 89.51% $120.72
CHICAGO $547,645 6,963 80.59% $78.65
FINDING NEVERLAND $1,011,088 10,571 87.86% $95.65
FUN HOME $749,863 5,979 101.00% $125.42
HAMILTON $1,456,753 10,708 101.32% $136.04
HAND TO GOD $255,020 3,567 57.76% $71.49
HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH $409,679 5,299 75.17% $77.31
JERSEY BOYS $579,920 6,420 65.35% $90.33
KINKY BOOTS $858,668 8,861 77.78% $96.90
LES MISÉRABLES $741,136 9,187 81.50% $80.67
MAMMA MIA! $978,350 9,390 100.32% $104.19
MATILDA $937,915 10,854 94.75% $86.41
ON THE TOWN $395,379 7,822 52.17% $50.55
SOMETHING ROTTEN! $1,006,235 10,740 80.53% $93.69
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,443,333 8,735 102.43% $165.24
THE KING AND I $991,502 7,386 88.18% $134.24
THE LION KING $1,986,190 13,576 100.06% $146.30
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $928,397 10,394 80.95% $89.32
WICKED $1,751,974 13,912 93.17% $125.93
Totals $22,457,929 211,799 84.49% $101.95

Broadway ticket sales raw data are provided courtesy of The Broadway League All other data, text, opinion, charts and commentary are copyright © 2015 nytix.com

Nederlander Sells Air Rights Above Neil Simon Theatre

Air Rights Go For Record $450 per Square Foot

neil simon theatreThe Nederlander Organization owns 9 of the 40 Broadway theatres, which makes it the second largest landlord on Broadway after the Shubert Organization, which owns 17. One of these nine is the Neil Simon Theatre, which is located at 250 West 52nd Street, between Broadway and 8th Avenue. Due to a zoning law break that was passed several years ago, Broadway theatre owners have the ability to sell the air rights above their landmark theatres – that is, literally the air above their buildings by the square foot. The reason for this ability to sell air is due to the landmark status of the theatres; most of the old Broadway theatres were built at a time when Times Square consisted mostly of three or four story buildings. Now that the area is predominantly made up of skyscrapers often in the realm of 20 stories high, the landlords of Broadway theatres were faced with a situation where they owned the air above their theatres but were unable to build into it. Therefore, a relaxed law allowed a marketplace for these air rights, so that the owners could profit from their real estate without violating the sanctity of the old theatre buildings. Of course, the landlords do not have an interest in demolishing the theatres, but they do have an interest in making millions of dollars off of selling air.

Neil Simon Air Rights Purchased to Build New Skyscraper on Seventh Avenuetimes square

Though the Neil Simon Theatre is on 52nd Street, the law allows the theatre owners to sell their air rights to anyone in the theatre district, defined as the West side of Manhattan from 40th to 57th Streets. Therefore, the buyer for these air rights is a consortium – made up of Soho Properties, MPH Real Estate, and Hampshire Hotels Group – that plans to use the rights to build a skyscraper on 7th Avenue between 40th and 41st Streets. The new hotel will cost $300 million, and rise to 29 stories, or 400 feet, high. Additional purchases of air rights in recent years have gone for quite a lot of money, but $450 per square foot is a record. Specifically, the almost 20,000 square feet of air was sold for $8.9 million. When the air rights were first made available, there was not much interest, and they would sometimes sell in the range of $100 per square foot. More recently, the Shubert Organization has sold air rights for $225 per square foot, with pending transactions in amounts over $300 per square foot. However, this recent Nederlander deal of $450 per square foot is the highest air rights sale yet by a Broadway theatre.

Sale Benefits Theatre, Both on Broadway and Beyond

The ability for Broadway landlords to sell their unusable air rights is a sort of payback for the landmark status of their buildings, allowing them to make money off their valuable property without destroying the buildings. This money often goes to much needed repairs of the buildings, so that they can keep them in beautiful condition for the variety of plays and musicals that rely on the old buildings to be in a good state. However, there are also other tangential benefits to the theatrical community at large. Any buyer of theatrical air rights must additionally contribute to a fund to foster the development of new theatrical work. This fund is overseen by the Theater Subdistrict Council, who meet regularly to decide how to allocate the money. For every square foot purchased of theatrical air rights, the buyer must donate $17.60 to the fund. Thus far, the fund has dispersed around $5 million for theatrical development.

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 8/16/2015

This week’s notable movements on Broadway are:

“Hamilton” Continues to Reap It In

In the week ending August 16, 2015, Hamilton was the fourth highest grossing show on Broadway, only coming in behind The Lion King, Wicked, and Aladdin. This week, it brought in nearly its highest gross yet at $1,459,314, which represents 109.32% of its gross potential. This was the fifth full week of performances. The record for their weekly gross so far took place two weeks prior, the week ending August 2, 2015, when it brought in $1,490,816. That represented 111.67% of the show’s gross potential. In addition, for the first two weeks of only seven performances as opposed to the usual eight, the show brought in a lower overall gross but a higher percentage of gross potential, at 110.30% and 111.51% of the show’s gross potential for the first two weeks of the run, respectively. Still, this past week demonstrated that Hamilton is a bona fide hit, as sales continue to be strong after the show’s opening night, when it received a round of rave reviews from critics far and wide. This past week, the top ticket price was $275.00, and the average paid admission was $136.31, which is a big jump from last week’s average ticket price of $117.99. It continues to be very tough to score a ticket to this hot show, and the box office figures are demonstrating this fact.

Otherwise a Slower Week on Broadway

Other than Hamilton’s continued financial success, this past week demonstrated a decrease in overall ticket sales for the 25 shows that were running. Of these 25 shows, only four demonstrated an increase in ticket sales from the week before: Hamilton went up by $204,151, Amazing Grace went up by $26,511, Mamma Mia! went up by $15,995, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch went up by $3,687. Other than Hamilton, all of these increases are fairly negligible. Overall, the entire industry saw a decrease in ticket sales of $1,317,989, which is a decrease of 5.36% from the week before. The biggest decreases were seen by Aladdin which went down by $299,545 but still grossed the impressive figure of $1,778,618, Penn & Teller on Broadway which went down by $268,702 in its final week of performances, and The Lion King which went down by $168,470 but still brought in the highest weekly gross of any show of $2,165,067. Furthermore, six figure decreases were seen by The Book of Mormon and Matilda. Therefore, though the overall industry saw a relative downturn, it is mainly the high grossing shows that went down in ticket sales, rather than the low grossing shows reaching a point of desperation. As the summer is coming to a close, the high tourist season will also be wrapping up in the next few weeks. As the fall shows begin to open, we will see a switch towards more New Yorkers attending the theatre, and an increased interest in straight plays rather than just the high grossing musicals.

The following are the Broadway ticket sales numbers for the week ending August 16, 2015:Broadway show ticket analysis 8-16-15

Show Name GrossGross TotalAttn  %Capacity  AvgPdAdm
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER $517,799 6,390 88.07% $81.03
ALADDIN $1,778,618 13,822 100.04% $128.68
AMAZING GRACE $298,798 5,218 56.13% $57.26
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS $1,286,907 11,856 88.27% $108.54
BEAUTIFUL $945,696 7,764 94.59% $121.81
CHICAGO $570,965 7,317 84.69% $78.03
FINDING NEVERLAND $987,966 10,557 87.74% $93.58
FUN HOME $761,867 5,994 101.25% $127.10
HAMILTON $1,459,314 10,706 101.31% $136.31
HAND TO GOD $273,184 3,921 63.49% $69.67
HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH $400,061 5,303 75.23% $75.44
JERSEY BOYS $599,028 6,524 66.41% $91.82
KINKY BOOTS $882,154 9,103 79.91% $96.91
LES MISÉRABLES $787,374 9,631 85.44% $81.75
MAMMA MIA! $983,331 9,400 100.43% $104.61
MATILDA $1,002,243 11,077 96.69% $90.48
ON THE TOWN $435,180 8,127 54.21% $53.55
PENN & TELLER ON BROADWAY $1,555,706 9,399 71.90% $122.71
SOMETHING ROTTEN! $1,005,030 10,995 82.45% $91.41
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,448,473 8,689 101.89% $166.70
THE KING AND I $1,074,119 7,904 94.36% $135.90
THE LION KING $2,165,067 13,128 96.76% $164.92
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $1,015,752 11,191 87.16% $90.77
WICKED $1,913,037 14,845 97.10% $128.87
Totals $25,006,928 226,453 85.95% $104.44

Broadway ticket sales raw data are provided courtesy of The Broadway League All other data, text, opinion, charts and commentary are copyright © 2015 nytix.com

“Penn & Teller” Completes Its Limited Engagement

Magic Show Recouped In Its Penultimate Week

penn and teller posterOn Sunday August 16, 2015, Penn & Teller on Broadway played its last performance at the Marquis Theatre. The famous magician duo came to Broadway for a strictly limited engagement of 6 weeks, including one partial week of previews which began on July 7, 2015. The official opening night took place on July 12, 2015. Throughout this short run, the show sold very well. There was a huge gross potential in the large Marquis Theatre, and the show never brought in more than 82.52% of this potential in any given week. Still, with more than a week to go in their six-week run, the producers announced that Penn & Teller on Broadway was a financial hit, having recouped its initial capitalization of $2.85 million. This amount is quite low for a Broadway show, but six weeks is extraordinarily low for the duration of a run on Broadway. Therefore, it is no small feat that this magic show managed to enter profits during its run. The best-selling week took place in the week ending August 9, 2015, when 12,145 people paid to see the show across the eight performances. The only other shows to bring in as many audience members were the best-selling musicals Wicked, Aladdin, The Lion King, and the newer show An American in Paris.

Overall Excellent Sales but a Downturn in the Final Weekpenn and teller

Over the course of the six-week run, Penn & Teller on Broadway made a steady climb in ticket sales. However, in the final week of the run, the week ending August 16, 2015, the show took a dip in sales. This is unusual, as most other shows manage to attract more audience members in their final week due to the last chance opportunity to see the show. However, everything about this show was unusual, from the short six-week duration of the show, to the fact that it is not a traditional play or musical, but instead a magic spectacle straight from Las Vegas. In the final week of sales, the show still brought in the impressive gross of $1,153,386, but this is a decrease of $268,702 from the week before, a 21.0% drop. People did pay more per ticket (the average paid admission went up from $117.09 the previous week to $122.71 in the final week), and yet the number of audience members went down (from the peak number of 12,145 to the lowest number of the run, 9,399 people). It is unclear why the final week demonstrated a decrease in interest to see the show. Perhaps the number of individuals interested in paying top dollar for a show in New York that is more suited for Las Vegas was saturated after just over 5 weeks. If this is the case, then the producers made the right choice in scheduling the show for a 6-week engagement.

Mixed Reviews that Did Not Sway Ticket Buyers’ Interest

After the show opened, there were mixed reviews from critics. Some were critical of the fact that the show was made up of seemingly simple tricks, such as the classic of pulling a rabbit out of a hat. However, this was clearly a crowd pleaser, and audiences did not shy away from rushing to the Marquis Theatre. Immediately after this run, the duo plans to return to Las Vegas where they have been performing together for 40 years. The six-week run was the longest break they could finagle from their producers at the Rio Hotel and Casino. Still, as demonstrated by the downturn in the last week of ticket sales, this may have also been the right move from a financial perspective.

“American Psycho” Added to Broadway Spring Line-Up

Based Off the 1991 Bret Easton Ellis Novel

american psychoIn February 2016, a musical adaptation of the famous novel American Psycho will begin previews at a Shubert Theatre to be announced on Broadway. The opening will then follow in March 2016. This musical has been gestating for several years, with private industry readings having taken place in New York for several years. The music and lyrics are written by Duncan Sheik, who also composed the music for Spring Awakening, for which he won a Tony Award for Best Original Score, and which is being revived on Broadway this upcoming season in a Deaf West production with both hearing and non-hearing actors. American Psycho has a book written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who has been a co-producer and writer of Glee, a script doctor for the musical Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark, and the Chief Creative Officer of Archie Comics. The novel American Psycho was published in 1991 to wide acclaim and controversy, due to the dark and violent nature of the subject matter. It was then adapted into a feature film in 2000 starring Christian Bale in the title role of Patrick Bateman; that film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was widely touted as the next Fight Club. Though it polarized audiences, the film was a financial and critical success and is now considered a cult classic.

A Sold-Out London Run at the Almeida TheatreAmerican_Psycho_Musical

On December 3, 2013, American Psycho the Musical had its world premiere in London at the Off West End venue, the Almeida Theatre. The official opening night was December 12, 2013. The show was originally scheduled to run just until January 25, 2014, but it was extended until February 1, 2014. That production was directed by Rupert Goold, choreographed by Lynne Page, and starred Matt Smith as Patrick Bateman. Although the run was relatively short, it was sold out and received great critical acclaim. The Guardian admitted that it sounded strange to make a musical about a serial killer, but that the show worked superbly, confirming the mythic power of Bret Easton Ellis’ novel while also succeeding in being brilliantly entertaining. The Daily Mail called the show undoubtedly a theatrical event, and praised Duncan Sheik’s catchy score. The Independent called the production diabolically slick, praising the terrific attack of the singing and dancing ensemble and the ability to avoid sentimentality in the second act. The Telegraph was less enthralled, giving the show two stars out of five and calling the lead performance expressionless and boring. Variety flew out over the Atlantic to review the production, and reported back that the serial killer story lacked drama, which is a serious problem with this subject matter.

Benjamin Walker Stars in the Broadway Production

benjamin walkerIn the Broadway production, Rupert Goold will return to direct, and Lynne Page will also return to choreograph. However, the cast will be revamped for the New York production. In the lead role of Patrick Bateman, Benjamin Walker stars. Walker has been seen on Broadway in the title role of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, as Brick in the 2013 revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, as Le Chevalier Danceny in Les Liaisons Dangereuses, and as Bertram Cates in Inherit the Wind. Though the rest of the cast has not yet been announced, developmental readings have included actors such as Zosia Mamet (“Girls”), Jennifer Damiano (Next to Normal), Isabel Keating (The Boy from Oz), and Wesley Taylor (“Smash”). The story deals with a 26 year-old man named Patrick Bateman who is sophisticated, handsome, and dirty rich. He works on Wall Street and can get any girl he wants. However, there is a lot more going on in this man’s head than it first appears, and he commits a lot of murder anything starts to go wrong.

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 8/09/2015

This week’s notable movements on Broadway are:

A Slight Downturn in Ticket Sales This Week

In the week ending August 9, 2015, the entire Broadway industry stayed fairly consistent from the week before, with only a slight downturn in ticket sales. Of the 26 shows that were running last week, 12 saw an increase in sales however slight, and 14 saw a decrease in sales. The overall industry saw a collective decrease of $456,403, which is very slight in context of all the shows running. With an overall gross of $26,873,035, this accounts for an average of $1,033,578 across all the shows. This is a decrease of 1.73% from the week before, which brought in a collective gross of $26,416,632, accounting for an average of $1,016,024 for each show. The highest increase was seen by Aladdin, which went up by $223,756 to reach the weekly gross of $2,078,163. This was matched by the biggest decrease in The Lion King, which went down by $290,751 from the week before to bring in the still substantial weekly gross of $2,333,537. Likewise, Hamilton went down by $235,653, bringing this buzzy newly opened show to a weekly gross of $1,255,163, which represents 94.02% of its gross potential. A big reason why Hamilton saw this decrease is because that week included its opening night performance, in which almost the entire theatre was given away for free for guests of the production. Meanwhile, The Book of Mormon went up by $130,840 to reach a weekly gross of $1,605,195, representing 103.65% of its gross potential, and Penn & Teller on Broadway went up by $117,428 to reach a weekly gross of $1,422,088, which is 82.52% of its gross potential.

“It Shoulda Been You” Showed Slight Upturn in Final Week

On August 9, 2015, It Shoulda Been You played its final performance on Broadway. This fun-loving wedding musical comedy with a modern-day twist was directed by David Hyde Pierce, and starred Tyne Daly, Sierra Boggess, Harriet Harris, and Lisa Howard. In its final week of performances, the show brought in $494,033, which is an increase of $61,823 from the week before. Though this was the highest gross the show brought in throughout its Broadway run, it still only represented 49.85% of its gross potential across the eight performances. This is a 7.4% increase from the weekly gross in the previous week. With a top ticket price of $197.00, the average paid ticket was $71.85. Still, with this amount of discounting and the buzz surrounding the news that this was the final week of performances, the show filled up its audience capacity to an average of 84.9%, which is an increase from last week’s average audience capacity of 77.5%. Therefore, It Shoulda Been You may have never made it into hit status on Broadway, but it welcomed a slight increase in sales in its final week of performances.

The following are the Broadway ticket sales numbers for the week ending August 9, 2015:Broadway show ticket analysis w/e 8-9-15

Show Name GrossGross TotalAttn  %Capacity  AvgPdAdm
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER $524,248 6,442 88.78% $72.56
ALADDIN $2,078,163 15,543 100.00% $155.43
AMAZING GRACE $272,287 5,051 54.34% $92.96
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS $1,356,715 12,398 92.30% $134.32
BEAUTIFUL $956,186 7,774 94.71% $82.08
CHICAGO $602,761 7,567 87.58% $86.40
FINDING NEVERLAND $1,058,371 11,149 92.66% $120.32
FUN HOME $775,680 6,097 102.99% $59.20
HAMILTON $1,255,163 10,638 100.66% $105.68
HAND TO GOD $288,012 4,328 70.08% $61.76
HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH $396,374 5,118 72.61% $70.49
IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU $494,033 6,876 84.93% $80.96
JERSEY BOYS $615,641 6,629 67.48% $98.24
KINKY BOOTS $905,672 9,376 82.30% $113.92
LES MISÉRABLES $811,144 9,959 88.35% $112.72
MAMMA MIA! $967,336 9,436 100.81% $93.60
MATILDA $1,109,694 11,444 99.90% $114.56
ON THE TOWN $460,190 8,683 57.92% $149.92
PENN & TELLER ON BROADWAY $1,422,088 12,145 92.91% $130.72
SOMETHING ROTTEN! $1,055,303 11,520 86.38% $133.36
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,605,195 9,837 102.53% $95.94
THE KING AND I $1,121,660 8,322 99.36% $83.76
THE LION KING $2,333,537 13,569 100.01% $135.68
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $1,068,693 11,766 91.64% $128.40
WICKED $1,980,056 15,071 97.81% $154.08
Totals $26,416,631 244,693 88.72% $101.80

Broadway ticket sales raw data are provided courtesy of The Broadway League All other data, text, opinion, charts and commentary are copyright © 2015 nytix.com

“It Shoulda Been You” Closes on Broadway

Final Performance Sunday, August 9th at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre

it shoulda been youOn March 17, 2015, It Shoulda Been You began previews at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. The official opening night took place on April 14, 2015, in time for consideration for the 2015 Tony Awards. However, the show received no Tony Awards nominations. Although they did receive the chance to perform a number from the musical at the awards ceremony, word of mouth never picked up to an adequate degree following this exposure, and ticket sales remained mediocre throughout the run. Therefore, at the end of June, it was announced that the final performance for this wedding musical with a twist would be Sunday, August 9, 2015. The show is conceived by Barbara Anselmi, with a book and lyrics by Brian Hargrove, and a musical score by Barbara Anselmi. Furthermore, the show was directed by David Hyde Pierce, who happens to be the husband of Brian Hargrove. Though he did not appear onstage, David Hyde Pierce was by far the biggest name involved with the production, as he is renowned for his acting roles in such television shows as Frasier, such films as Wet Hot American Summer and The Fisher King, and such Broadway productions as Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Curtains, and La Bête. Nevertheless, having this name behind the scenes did not boost ticket sales for the show as much as if he had been onstage.

Mixed Reviews for a Fun-Loving Wedding Comedyit shoulda been you

When It Shoulda Been You opened on April 14, 2015, it received mixed reviews. Ben Brantley of The New York Times commenced his review with the single word, “Oy.” This musical comedy set at a Jewish wedding did not win over this prestigious critic, who concluded his review by stating that the latter day twist (of the gay element) did not make this cocktail of clichés any less flat. The New York Post likewise stated that the show “lacks laughs” in the headline, finding the songs disposable and the plot twist improbable. The New York Daily News gave the show two stars out of five, calling it a harmless diversion that “shoulda” been better. Marilyn Stasio in Variety found it awfully funny, but admitted that nothing was particularly clever about the show. Vulture found the show not quite dead of laughs, but rather on life support. Entertainment Weekly gave it a B-, admitting that the grande dames of this show – Tyne Daly and Harriet Harris – deserve some applause. In any case, the overwhelming sentiment of these reviews is one of disappointment, and that did not allow this show to stick around for long enough to make its money back.

Mediocre Box Office Throughout the Run

In the final week of ticket sales, the week ending August 9, 2015, It Shoulda Been You made its highest weekly gross of the run. With a gross of $494,033, the show brought in 49.85% of its gross potential, and filled up an average of 84.9% of the audience. With a top ticket price of $197.00, the average paid admission was $71.85. However, at the low point of the run, the show only brought in $272,693, which represents 27.51% of its gross potential. All in all, the show never appeared to have the makings of a box office hit. However, the show’s capitalization was fairly low compared to most shows, and though the Broadway run will not make profits, the future market for licensing this show is optimistic. With a low cost to run and a fun-loving family sentiment, It Shoulda Been You may be a top pick for regional and amateur theatre licensing, allowing the investors to make back a bit more of their money.

“Hamilton” Opens at the Richard Rodgers Theatre

A Round Of Rave Reviews for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Masterpiece

hamiltonOn August 6, 2015, Hamilton played its opening night performance at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. It had been running in previews on Broadway since its first performance on July 13, 2015. Prior to this, Hamilton had an extremely successful run at Off-Broadway at the Public Theater from January 20, 2015 to May 3, 2015. After receiving universal acclaim in the smaller venue, buzz abounded and headlines soared about this new musical with book, lyrics, and music by Lin-Manuel Miranda, which also stars him in the title role. Along with producers Jeffrey Seller, Sander Jacobs, and Jill Furman, the Public Theater brought the show to Broadway. Like the Public run, this production is directed by Thomas Kail (Magic/Bird, Lombardi, In the Heights), and choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler. The show is praised for its reimagining of the period in history in which our founding fathers began this country. Rather than focusing on the traditional hero George Washington, who also appears in the show, the heart of this tale is on Alexander Hamilton, our nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury. Furthermore, instead of cast with traditional white males, this show features black and Latino performers singing musical styles ranging from rap to hip hop to R&B, as well as traditional musical theatre.

Strong Praise for the Production and the PerformersHAMILTON

Ben Brantley of The New York Times began his rave review with a single line: “Yes, it really is that good.” Admitting that he was among the critics to give the show universal praise in its previous incarnation, he said he had begun to wonder if the hype was really a match for the quality of the production. However, after seeing the enhanced version in the Broadway theatre, Brantley continued his praise and gave the show his blessing. At one point he even suggested that people should mortgage their houses in order to afford a ticket to this show, if only to reassure themselves that the American musical is still alive and well. The other major critics were no less appreciative. David Cote from Time Out New York called this show the greatest American musical in decades, proclaiming his love for this show in both simple and extravagant terms. Jeremy Gerard in Deadline called the show electrifying, stating that it is destined for the record books, and comparing it to both Rent and A Chorus Line from previous eras. Jesse Green from Vulture remarked on the incredible number of songs in the show – 34 – and concluded that the ambition and the scope of this show are a major breakthrough in the art form. Joe Dziemianowicz of the New York Daily News said that Hamilton made Broadway officially the coolest place on the planet.

Bull’s Eye Box Office, and Somehow Increasing

In the last reported week of box office figures, the week ending August 2, 2015, Hamilton brought in $1,490,816. This represents 111.67% of the show’s gross potential across the eight performances. This was the third full week of the run, although the first two weeks had just seven performances each. Still, with each progressive week, Hamilton has managed to increase its overall box office gross as well as the percentage reached of its gross potential. Granted, this past week the percentage of gross potential increased from 111.51% to 111.67%, which is a small increase, and yet it continues to show that people will pay top dollar and see this show however they can. Presently, the top ticket price is $275.00, but perhaps as the show continues to be a hot ticket, the producers may choose to practice dynamic pricing and also to raise the cost of premium tickets. This will enable to show to break even more quickly, entering profits so that the investors can make back more of their money sooner. For the ticketbuyer, this means that Hamilton will continue to be a very tough show to see. In order to see it, one must be resourceful – both in terms of finding a way to get a ticket, and in terms of affording one.

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 8/02/2015

This week’s notable movements on Broadway are:

A Steady Week With A Slight Upturn

In the week ending August 2, 2015, Broadway is still going strong with summer ticket sales. Overall, the entire industry of 28 currently running shows saw a relatively minor increase of $736,227 from the week before. The biggest increase was seen by mega-hit The Lion King, which brought in $215,787 from the week before, bringing it to a total weekly gross of $2,624,288. Remarkably, this huge number represents just 98.47% of the production’s gross potential in the massive Minskoff Theatre, whereas this and other shows have at times broken the 100% mark, or even the 110% mark of gross potential. With a top ticket price of $225.00, the average paid admission was the impressive $173.37. The only other show that came close in terms of average ticket price is The Book of Mormon, which brought in $1,474,355 last week, representing 107.10% of its gross potential in the comparably smaller Eugene O’Neill Theatre. With a top ticket price of the extremely inflated $475.00 per premium ticket, the average paid admission trailed just behind that of The Lion King at $168.48. The highest percentage of gross potential was reached by new hit musical Hamilton, which hasn’t even opened yet but is bringing in 111.67% of its gross potential. Overall, of the 28 shows running, 16 showed an increase from the week before, and 8 saw a decrease. The greatest decrease was seen by Kinky Boots at the relatively minor dip of $60,641.

“Hamilton” Well On Its Way to Top Musical of the Season

Hamilton the Musical opens in 2 days, but it brought in the highest gross potential of any show this past week while still in previews. This is the first week that they played eight performances, as opposed to two weeks of seven performances each. In this way, the show reached not only its maximum weekly gross so far at $1,490,816, but also the highest percentage of its gross potential, out of any week yet. Their audience capacity was filled up to an average of 100.5% across the eight performances, and the top ticket price has thus far held steady at $275.00. It remains to be seen whether the producers will choose to adopt a dynamic pricing strategy, whereby they raise the premium ticket prices and fluctuate the ticket pricing based on predicted demand, sometimes even across individual performances. The reviews will come out this week, but the show has already earned raves and great buzz from its recent Off-Broadway run at the Public Theatre, which was also the birthplace of the 2015 Tony Award winning best musical, Fun Home. At this point, it seems clear that Hamilton will be well remembered one year from now in time for the 2016 Tony Awards consideration. With a year’s appetite filled for this culturally imaginative, alternative political bio-drama, the show will surely be a contender for the Best Musical award, as well as many others. Still, an entire year remains for other shows to come out of the woodwork in contention for that great honor.

The following are the Broadway ticket sales numbers for the week ending August 2, 2015:Broadway-Show-Ticket-Analysis-08-02-15

Show Name GrossGross TotalAttn %Capacity AvgPdAdm
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER $549,228 6,711 92.49% $81.84
ALADDIN $1,854,407 13,817 100.01% $134.21
AMAZING GRACE $308,313 4,947 53.22% $62.32
AN ACT OF GOD $1,074,778 7,883 97.95% $136.34
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS $1,388,952 12,518 93.20% $110.96
BEAUTIFUL $946,124 7,653 93.24% $123.63
CHICAGO $748,452 8,241 95.38% $90.82
FINDING NEVERLAND $1,200,295 11,851 98.50% $101.28
FISH IN THE DARK $841,809 8,354 97.32% $100.77
FUN HOME $782,634 5,976 100.95% $130.96
HAMILTON $1,490,816 10,619 100.48% $140.39
HAND TO GOD $285,603 4,186 67.78% $68.23
HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH $390,829 5,286 74.99% $73.94
IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU $432,210 6,278 77.54% $68.85
JERSEY BOYS $651,437 7,053 71.79% $92.36
KINKY BOOTS $890,611 9,205 80.80% $96.75
LES MISÉRABLES $766,999 9,856 87.44% $77.82
MAMMA MIA! $939,807 9,415 100.93% $99.82
MATILDA $1,108,854 11,480 100.21% $96.59
ON THE TOWN $475,889 7,664 51.12% $62.09
PENN & TELLER ON BROADWAY $1,304,660 11,426 87.41% $114.18
SOMETHING ROTTEN! $1,073,132 11,791 88.41% $91.01
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,474,355 8,751 102.61% $168.48
THE KING AND I $1,134,145 8,264 98.66% $137.24
THE LION KING $2,624,288 15,137 99.17% $173.37
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $1,090,526 11,852 92.31% $92.01
WICKED $2,118,401 16,175 93.95% $130.97
Total $28,789,618 259,904 88.93% $106.05

Broadway ticket sales raw data are provided courtesy of The Broadway League All other data, text, opinion, charts and commentary are copyright © 2015 nytix.com