“Beautiful” Recoups Its Capitalization

The First New Musical of The Season to Recoup

Beautiful Broadway ShowBeautiful: The Carole King Musical has made back its entire $13 million capitalization in less than 10 months.  Since it began previews on November 21, 2013, the show has been selling very well at the box office, and its laudatory reviews after its opening on January 12, 2014 solidified its place at the top of the box office charts.  The musical recounts the life and career of singer songwriter Carole King, using her own songs as well as a book by Douglas McGrath to tell the tale.  The role of Carole King is played by Jessie Mueller (The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Nice Work If You Can Get It), who has recently taken her place among the top performing Broadway stars of the present day.  The musical was nominated for seven 2014 Tony Awards, winning two: Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for Jessie Mueller, and Best Sound Design of a Musical by Brian Ronan.  The other nominations were for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical for Jarrod Spector, Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical for Anika Larsen, and Best Orchestrations for Steve Sidwell.

Increasingly Impressive Box Office

The show has down even better as the months have gone on.  Once the Tony Award nominations were announced, and Beautiful wasBeautiful — The Carole King Musical Stephen Sondheim Theatre  Cast List: Jessie Mueller Jake Epstein Anika Larsen Jarrod Spector Jeb Brown Liz Larsen Ashley Blanchet E. Clayton Cornelious Joshua Davis Alysha Deslorieux Kevin Duda Carly Hughes Sara King Rebecca LaChance Douglas Lyons Chris Peluso Gabrielle Reid Arbender Robinson Rashidra Scott Sara Shepard Antoine L. Smith Melvin Tunstall  Production Credits: Marc Bruni (Direction) Josh Prince (Choreography) Derek McLane (Scenic Design) Alejo Vietti (Costume Design)  Peter Kaczorowski (Lighting Design)  Brian Ronan (Sound Design)  Steve Sidwell (Orchestrations and Music Arrangements)  Jason Howland (Music Supervision)  John Miller (Music Coordination)  Other Credits: Lyrics by: Carole King, Gerry Goffin, Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil Music by: Carole King, Gerry Goffin, Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil Book by: Douglas McGrath in the running for Best Musical, the audience seemed to have perked up.  Whereas the first few months showed grosses in in the $800,000 to $900,000 zone, the show crossed the million dollar mark in the week ending April 20, 2014, and it has never gone back.  The highest gross it has achieved thus far wad during the week ending August 10, 2014, when it grossed an impressive $1,325,505, which represented 103.20% of its gross potential.  In this most recent week ending September 14, 2014, the show grossed almost as much – $1,300,961 – which is 101.29% of its gross potential.  Playing in the Stephen Sondheim Theatre with 8,208 seats, the show has consistently managed to fill up almost them all, with relatively few discounts.  This is testament to the brilliant performance of Jessie Mueller, the successful spread of word of mouth, but perhaps most importantly the incredible career and still beloved status of Carole King in the mindset of Americans.

A London Run and a U.S. Tour

In early 2015, Beautiful will begin performances in London’s West End at the Aldwych Theatre.  Performances will begin on February 10, 2015, and the official opening night will be February 25, 2015.  After that, the U.S. Tour will launch in Providence, Rhode Island at the Providence Performing Arts Center beginning September 15, 2015.  Other cities already announced include Chicago, Los Angeles, Durham, and Charlotte.  It is not yet determined whether Jessie Mueller will follow the production to either London or on tour or both, but chances are that she will definitely go with one if not both of the opportunities.  She was quoted as saying she’d happily hop over the pond for a little while, if given the chance.  Similarly, the word has spread that she may also headline the tour.

“This Is Our Youth” Opens on Broadway

Critics agree: Kenneth Lonergan’s Broadway debut is a hit!

this is our youthDirected by Anna D. Shapiro, This Is Our Youth opened this past Thursday, September 11, 2014 at the Cort Theatre to rave reviews.  Starring three young actors portraying three lost youths, this play is the Broadway premiere of a play that originally played Off-Broadway in 1996.  This marks the Broadway debut for all three cast members.  Michael Cera plays Warren Straub, a dejected 19 year-old who has robbed his father and gotten kicked out of his home when the play opens.  Cera is best known for his screen work such as television’s Arrested Development and films including Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist and Juno.  He plays opposite Kieran Culkin in the role of Dennis Ziegler, an aspiring cocaine entrepreneur. Culkin is best known for his roles in Igby Goes Down and a small part alongside his brother Macaulay in Home Alone.  The third cast member making her Broadway debut is Tavi Gevinson, who plays Jessica Goldman, an anxious yet insightful student of fashion who is pursued by Warren.  Tavi recently transitioned into acting from her precocious career as a fashion blogger and model, with such credits as Enough Said.

A Long Time Coming for Kenneth Lonergan

Kenneth Lonergan has been entertaining audiences of stage and screen for over 30 years.  This Is Our Youth was the first title that kenneth lonerganbrought him acclaim, earning a Drama Desk Award nomination for Best Play in 1996.  His play The Waverley Gallery was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 2001.  As a filmmaker, both writer and director, he won the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize in 2000 for You Can Count on Me, which was executive produced by Martin Scorsese.  That film won countless more writing awards such as the Los Angeles Film Critics Award for Best Screenplay as well as the AFI Award for Best Film and Best New Writer.  He co-wrote the screenplay for Gangs of New York in 2002, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Screenplay.  In addition, he wrote the screenplay for the 1999 film Analyze This and the 2002 film Analyze That, and his other plays include Lobby Hero and The Starry Messenger.  However, despite all this acclaim, this is the first time one of his plays has been seen on Broadway.

Excellent Reviews, But the Box Office is Still Behind

this is our youth castCritics were unanimous in their praise of this Broadway premiere.  Ben Brantley of The New York Times called Anna D. Shapiro’s production “sensational,” and praised the performers for their acrobatics.  Entertainment Weekly called it a “crackling Broadway revival,” and AM New York deemed it Chekhov meets Gossip Girl.  All in all, the reviews were laudatory.  However, the box office is still slow.  The latest box office report only took into account two days after the reviews came out, so there is still time for word of mouth to spread and for theatregoers to find their way to the Cort Theatre during the run.  In the week ending September 14, 2014, This Is Our Youth only grossed $372,793, which represents 49.85% of its gross potential.  This is approximately how well the show has been doing since it began previews on August 18, 2014.  It’s possible that the young actors Kieran Culkin and Michael Cera are not popular names with the usual Broadway going audience, and that their fanbases are having difficulty affording Broadway tickets.  But this is still hope that word will spread that this is a show worth seeing for all demographics.

Radio City Christmas Spectacular Begins Nov 7, 2014

Radio City Christmas Spectacular An Age-Old Holiday Treat

The Radio City Christmas Spectacular is gearing up to begin their seasonal show, to play from November 7th to December 31st.  With performances taking place at Radio City Music Hall on 6th Avenue between 50th and 51st Streets, this is sure to be a dynamic and magical experience.  Led by the world renowned Rockettes, the show features dancing and immersive entertainment that is fun for the whole family.  Every year, the Rockettes train harder and the show design is more innovative, aiming to up the ante from the many years before.

(Insanely) Busy Schedule for Performers

This year, the Rockettes will be kept very busy.  On Saturdays in December, they will play an extraordinary six shows per day.
Furthermore, during the five day Christmas period between December 19th and 23rd, they will do 26 shows.  Fortunately, the dancers rotate so that they do not all do all the shows.  In New York, there are two casts each of about 36 women.  The dancers divide their performances by morning/afternoon and evening casts, so that each cast can get a break each day.  In past years, it was reported that each cast would perform about 108 shows over the course of the season.  They are fortunate the show is only seasonal, because it is actually so tiring that many are so fatigued that they need the 10 months off!

What Do The Rockettes Do for the Rest of the Year?

Rockettes are professional athletes who train rigorously not only in dance, but in other forms of fitness to keep them athletic year round.  Furthermore, many of them are students, or pursuing careers in other areas of the entertainment field.  It is common for them to be models or actors, and many of them work year round in musical theatre.  Still, for many Rockettes, this is their only time dancing on stage in a given year.  The Rockettes tend to be hired year after year, which allows the team to remain strong while the dancers retain a sense of seasonal stability.  This is only one of the many reasons it is such a competitive gig, as year after year countless women compete for the opportunity to dance onstage in the timeless role of a Rockette. in 2014 Radio City was set to launch the Heart and Lights show that was planned to run from the spring to early summer of 2014. The show would have included many of the Rockettes, given that the style of show was similar to The Radio City Christmas Spectacular that runs win the winter in the prelude to the Christmas holiday. The 2014 Heart and Lights show was cancelled prior to opening, but 2015 will see a new version of this show, with a new name, get launched for the Spring 2015 season at Radio City.

 

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 9/14/2014

This week’s notable movements on Broadway are:

Picking Up From Last Week

In the week ending September 14, 2014, the Broadway industry has picked up the slack from its poor week of returns last week.  Now that the fall season is officially underway, with new shows opening and others beginning previews, locals and tourists alike are finding their fare of choice.  In this past week, the overall gross for all running Broadway shows increased by $2,447,824 compared to the week before.  Furthermore, every single individual show saw an increased gross with one exception: The Phantom of the Opera, which only decreased by a negligible $21,679.  The biggest increase for any show that was running both this past week and the week before was Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, which has now officially recouped at the box office.  It grossed $1,300,961 this past week, which was an increase of $223,444 from the week before.  The next biggest boost was seen by Cinderella, which increased by $140,143 to reach a weekly gross of $598,979.  This is however still exceedingly low, at only 37.12% of its gross potential.

New Shows This Week

There were three new shows that began previews this past week.  The best performing of the three was The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, which transfers to Broadway from the National Theatre via the West End with excellent acclaim.  In its first week of four performances, this play based on the novel of the same name grossed $288,614, which represents 65.69% of the show’s gross potential.  These numbers are sure to pick up as word of mouth spreads, and especially after the show’s official opening on October 5, 2014.  The next new show was The Country House, which grossed $198,383 over the course of 7 performances.  This new play by Donald Margulies stars Blythe Danner, but in its first week the show only grossed 38.30% of its gross potential.  Time will tell whether sales pick up for this one, or whether it plateaus at some unprofitable level.  The third and worst performing of the new plays was Love Letters, which earned only $54,749 over the course of its first two performances.  This A.R. Gurney play will have a starry cast that will rotate over the course of the run, and presently the stars are Mia Farrow and Brian Dennehy.  It is therefore surprising that the play has performed so poorly.  It is to be expected that sales will increase as the public becomes aware of the A-list names on that stage.

The following are the Broadway ticket sales numbers for the week ending September 14, 2014:

Broadway Show Ticket Analysis w/e 9/14/14

Show GrossGross Total Attn %Cap AvgPdAdm
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER $848,790 7,257 100.01% $116.96
ALADDIN $1,312,257 13,616 98.78% $96.38
BEAUTIFUL $1,300,961 8,215 100.09% $158.36
CABARET $643,502 5,946 83.23% $108.22
CHICAGO $619,784 7,874 91.13% $78.71
CINDERELLA $598,979 8,506 60.72% $70.42
HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH $524,687 5,705 70.82% $91.97
IF/THEN $698,918 9,045 86.24% $77.27
IT’S ONLY A PLAY $1,230,603 8,569 100.20% $143.61
JERSEY BOYS $848,378 8,561 87.14% $99.10
KINKY BOOTS $1,228,758 11,168 98.03% $110.02
LADY DAY AT EMERSON’S BAR & GRILL $652,702 5,245 96.13% $124.44
LES MISÉRABLES $813,225 10,034 89.02% $81.05
LOVE LETTERS $54,749 1,375 64.37% $39.82
MAMMA MIA! $659,092 8,481 90.92% $77.71
MATILDA $805,004 10,050 87.73% $80.10
MOTOWN THE MUSICAL $1,026,470 11,108 92.14% $92.41
ONCE $467,069 6,129 72.34% $76.21
PIPPIN $552,516 7,101 89.66% $77.81
ROCK OF AGES $360,561 4,431 95.00% $81.37
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,555,886 8,741 102.50% $178.00
THE COUNTRY HOUSE $198,383 3,704 81.41% $53.56
THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME $288,614 3,801 93.34% $75.93
THE LION KING $1,725,567 13,478 99.10% $128.03
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $897,140 11,522 89.74% $77.86
THIS IS OUR YOUTH $372,793 7,164 84.40% $52.04
WICKED $1,462,840 14,352 99.17% $101.93
YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU $542,918 7,481 87.15% $72.57
Totals: $22,291,144 228,659 88.95% $93.64

Broadway ticket sales raw data are provided courtesy of The Broadway League All other data, text, opinion, charts and commentary are copyright © 2014 nytix.com

“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time” Begins Performances

An Eventful London Run

the curious incident of the dog in the night-timeA new import from London’s National Theatre has begun performances on Broadway.  The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time took London by storm, first playing at the National’s Cottesloe Theatre from August 2, 2012 until late October 2012, when it transferred to the West End’s Apollo Theatre.  It ran at the Apollo until December 19, 2013, when the theatre’s roof collapsed, forcing performances to be postponed until June 24, 2014, when the show re-opened at the West End’s Gielgud Theatre, where it is still presently running.  These incidents aside, the show has been proved a veritable hit.  It was nominated for eight Olivier Awards (the British equivalent of the Tonys), winning seven: those for Best New Play, Best Director for Marianne Elliott, Best Actor for Luke Treadaway, Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Nicola Walker, Best Sound Design, Best Lighting Design, and Best Set Design.  Now beginning September 10, 2014, this production under the helm of Marianne Elliott has transferred to Broadway’s Ethel Barrymore Theatre.  Its official opening night is scheduled for October 5, 2014.

A Sense of Wonder

Adapted for the stage by Simon Stephens (Punk Rock, Pornography, On the Shore of the Wide World), the play is based on a novel of the same name written by Mark Haddon in 2003.  It is the story of a 15 year-old boy named Christopher John Francis Boone, who is supposed to have some form of Asperger’s Syndrome, although this is never referred to in the play.  Rather, the character exhibits the characteristic asocial behavior of this condition, coupled with a remarkable sense of wonder regarding everything he experiences.  The incident denoted in the play’s title involves the murder of the dog of one of Christopher’s neighbors.  A sort of self-made Sherlock Holmes, Christopher takes it upon himself to solve this mystery.  Along the way, he ends up discovering facts about his own family that take him on an unexpected journey.  The play received intense acclaim for its delicate performances and brilliant design and staging.  It looks poised to perform as well in the transatlantic transfer as did its National Theatre predecessor, War Horse.

The American Cast

alex sharp

Alex Sharp

As the show is still running in the West End, it has transferred to the United States with an entirely new cast.  The principal role of 15 year-old Christopher is portrayed by 25 year-old recent Juilliard graduate Alex Sharp, making his Broadway debut.  Sharp has been documented saying that this was one of his mother’s favorite books, and thus he has long been very familiar with its story.  The rest of the main cast members are Helen Carey (Tony nominated for London Assurance), Ian Barford (August: Osage County), Francesca Faridany (Man and Boy), and Enid Graham (Dinner at Eight).  Additional cast members include Ben Horner (War Horse), Mercedes Herrero (The Laramie Project), Jocelyn Bioh (Off Broadway’s An Octoroon), Richard Hollis (Hit-Lit), and David Manis (War Horse).  Furthermore, the role of Christopher will occasionally be played by Taylor Trensch (Matilda the Musical).  Like in London, the show is directed by Marianne Elliott, who also directed War Horse.

“The Country House” Begins Previews on Broadway

A New Play By Donald Margulies

country houseOn September 9, 2014, the first preview commenced for Donald Margulies’ new play The Country House.  The play is scheduled to officially open on October 2, 2014.  Directed by Daniel Sullivan (The Snow Geese, Orphans), this is the newest work by the masterful playwright behind the Pulitzer Prize winning Dinner With Friends and the Tony Award for Best Play nominated Time Stands Still.  The world premiere of The Country House took place at Los Angeles’ Geffen Playhouse between June 10 and July 20, 2014, where it received excellent reviews.  The play is inspired by Chekhov’s The Seagull, the story concerns a group of actors gathered in a Berkshire house for the summer season of the Williamstown Theater Festival.  The drama of this actor family spilled off the page and into their very real lives, and we are given a glimpse into the offstage drama of the world’s oldest profession.

A Manhattan Theater Club Production

The play is running at the Manhattan Theater Club’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on West 47th Street in the Broadway district.  Of the six productions that Margulies has now had on Broadway, the last five of them have been produced by Manhattan Theater Club.  The last three (including The Country House) went up at the Friedman Theatre; the others are April 2010’s Collected Stories and January 2010’s Time Stands Still, which then transferred to the commercial venue of Broadway’s Cort Theatre.  Previously, MTC also supported Margulies with two of his other plays: 2005’s Brooklyn Boy and 2004’s Sight Unseen, both of which went up at the Biltmore Theatre.  Margulies’ first work to be produced on Broadway was 1994’s What’s Wrong With This Picture?  In addition to being a working playwright, Margulies is a professor at the Yale School of Drama.

A Superb Cast

The show stars Blythe Danner as Anna Patterson.  Danner, who is well known for her screen appearances in such roles as Will’s blythe danner country housemother Marilyn on television’s Will & Grace, as well as the film series Meet the Parents, Meet the Fockers, and Little Fockers.  Furthermore, Danner has recently appeared onstage in the Manhattan Theatre Club Off-Broadway production of The Commons of Pensacola opposite Sarah Jessica Parker.  On Broadway she has performed in many productions including Nice Work If You Can Get It, Follies, A Streetcar Named Desire, and Blithe Spirit.  In The Country House, she is joined by Daniel Sunjata (Cyrano de Bergerac, Take Me Out), Eric Lange (television’s Victorious and Lost), Kate Jennings Grant (The Lyons, Guys and Dolls), David Rasche (To Be or Not to Be, Speed the Plow), and Sarah Steele (Off-Broadway’s Russian Transport and Slowgirl).

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 9/07/2014

This week’s notable movements on Broadway are:

A Very Slow Week For Broadway

In the week ending September 7, 2014, the entire Broadway industry saw a decrease in gross sales of $2,504,029 from the week prior.  Of the 24 shows presently running, only one saw an increase in sales.  That was It’s Only a Play, written by Terrence McNally and starring Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, Stockard Channing, F. Murray Abraham, and Rupert Grint.  The only reason that show saw an increase, however, is because last week it began its run with only 5 performances.  This week was its first full week of eight performances, and thus it increased its gross by $370,580.  However, the show’s gross potential decreased from 112.45% last week to 104.48% this week.  Even though that show is still performing amazingly for a new production of a straight play still in previews, it too saw a relative decrease from last week.  As for the other shows, every single one was in the red comparatively, with the biggest loss seen by Wicked, which earned $367,560 less this week than the week before.  Still Wicked grossed a respectable $1,340,668.

What Is The Reason for This?

The reason for such a steep decline can only be speculated.  It can be chalked up to the fact that we are in a transition between seasons.  We are officially out of the summer season, with Labor Day a full week behind us, and therefore most Americans who travel to New York for a summer vacation are firmly back in their school and work routines.  New Yorkers, however, are either still holding onto the idea of summer, taking last minute trips out of town while the weather is still warm, or they are also beginning to buckle down for the start of fall.  In any case, they are not focused on Broadway.  The exception is the new play It’s Only a Play which hints of more exciting fare to come in this fall season.  That show is attracting a lot of attention and sales, and its opening press is sure to make it an even hotter ticket than it already is.  We can trust that sales will pick up as the season is more firmly underway.

The following are the Broadway ticket sales numbers for the week ending September 7, 2014
Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis 9/07/14

Show GrossGross Total Attn %Cap AvgPdAdm
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER $840,503 7,235 99.71% $116.17
ALADDIN $1,299,483 13,736 99.65% $94.60
BEAUTIFUL $1,077,517 7,244 88.26% $148.75
CABARET $623,833 5,522 77.30% $112.97
CHICAGO $559,420 7,152 82.78% $78.22
CINDERELLA $458,836 6,499 46.39% $70.60
HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH $514,411 5,622 69.79% $91.50
IF/THEN $589,923 7,882 75.15% $74.84
IT’S ONLY A PLAY $1,163,626 8,465 98.98% $137.46
JERSEY BOYS $799,476 8,087 82.32% $98.86
KINKY BOOTS $1,172,025 10,725 94.15% $109.28
LES MISÉRABLES $788,527 9,581 85.00% $82.30
MAMMA MIA! $616,314 7,773 83.33% $79.29
MATILDA $803,129 10,024 87.50% $80.12
MOTOWN THE MUSICAL $979,034 10,715 88.88% $91.37
ONCE $420,739 5,512 65.06% $76.33
PIPPIN $492,718 6,370 80.43% $77.35
ROCK OF AGES $315,675 3,857 82.70% $81.84
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,532,948 8,751 102.61% $175.17
THE LION KING $1,677,604 13,396 98.50% $125.23
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $918,819 11,382 88.64% $80.73
THIS IS OUR YOUTH $367,207 7,220 85.06% $50.86
WICKED $1,340,668 13,507 93.33% $99.26
YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU $490,887 6,871 80.04% $71.44
Totals: $19,843,322 203,128 84.82% $96.02


Broadway ticket sales raw data are provided courtesy of The Broadway League All other data, text, opinion, charts and commentary are copyright © 2014 nytix.com

EGOT’s, REGOT’s, and Those Who Are On Their Way

With this year’s Academy Awards on March 2, 2014, Robert “Bobby” Lopez became the youngest person ever to be designated an EGOT.  An acronym made up of “Emmy,” “Grammy,” “Oscar,” and “Tony,” this title refers to those extraordinary artists who have earned all four awards over the course of their career.  Upon winning the Oscar for Best Original Song for having written “Let It Go” from the Disney film Frozen, Bobby Lopez entered the prestigious circle of EGOTs, accomplishing it in the shortest amount of time in history: only 10 years.  Lopez’s first EGOT award was 2004 the Tony Award for Best Score, for the raunchy puppet musical Avenue Q.  He also received two Tony Awards in 2011 for The Book of Mormon, for Best Book of a Musical as well as Best Score.  The Book of Mormon also earned him a Grammy in 2012 for Best Musical Theatre Album, and he also earned two Daytime Emmys in 2008 and 2010, both for Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction and Composition for Nick Jr.’s Wonderpets.

EGOT Necklace on SilhouetteIn addition to Lopez, only eleven individuals have ever earned all four awards.  The first was Richard Rodgers (1902 – 1979), who earned one Academy Award, one Emmy Award, two Grammy Awards, and six Tony Awards, as well as three Special (non-competitive) Tony Awards between 1945 and 1979.  The second was Helen Hayes, who accomplished the mission between 1932, with her Best Actress Oscar win for The Sin of Madelon Claudet, and 1980, with her Special Tony Award for Distinguished Lifetime Achievement in the American Theatre.  Interestingly, both Rodgers and Hayes have Broadway theatres named in their honor.  John Gielgud, who has a West End theatre named after him in London, also won all four awards between 1961 and 1991.

Other winners of all four honors include the actors Audrey Hepburn, Rita Moreno, and Whoopi Goldberg, the composers Marvin Hamlisch and Jonathan Tunick, director/screenwriter Mel Brooks, director Mike Nichols, and producer Scott Rudin.  If one takes into account non-competitive awards to determine EGOTs, then three more individuals are added to the list: Barbra Streisand, who only earned a Special Tony Award, Liza Minnelli, who only earned a Special Grammy Award, and James Earl Jones, who only earned a Special Academy Award.  Numerous individuals have also earned the “Triple Crown of Acting,” which refers to earning a Tony, an Emmy, and an Oscar, all in Acting categories.  These include Helen Hayes, Rita Moreno, Jack Albertson, Anne Bancroft, Ingrid Bergman, Shirley Booth, Ellen Burstyn, Melvyn Douglas, Jeremy Irons, Thomas Mitchell, Al Pacino, Christopher Plummer, Vanessa Redgrave, Jason Robards, Geoffrey Rush, Paul Scofield, Maggie Smith, Maureen Stapleton, and Jessica Tandy.

In 1981, an anti-award ceremony was established: the Golden Raspberry Awards, or Razzies for short, which recognize Razzie Award, Raspberrythe worst in film.  In jest, certain people have begun referring to REGOTs, for those who have earned all five awards.  Of course, the R implies a negative achievement, but with the other four positive awards, this five-award recognition is more for fun than to cause shame.  The only person to have earned all five awards is Liza Minnelli, who won a Razzie in 1988 for two movies: Arthur 2: On the Rocks and Rent-a-cop – that is, if you include her Special Grammy Award.  Whoopi Goldberg came close to being a REGOT, as she has been nominated for two Razzies, The Telephone in 1988 and Eddie in 1996.

Different individuals reach this level of achievement for different reasons.  It helps if the artist has a musical bent, as this may allow them to earn a Grammy as well as a music-related Academy Award.  It certainly helps if they are geniuses, and perhaps arrogance and overzealous confidence can also push them along toward this distinction.  In any case, an EGOT is nothing to scoff at, for it represents true appreciation across multiple platforms of success.

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 8/31/2014

This week’s notable movements on Broadway are:

New Shows: “You Can’t Take It With You” and “It’s Only a Play”

There were two new Broadway shows that began previews in the week ending August 31, 2014.  First, on August 26, 2014, You Can’t Take It With You began performances at the Longacre Theatre.  This is the fifth revival of the Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman comedy that originally premiered in 1936, this time starring James Earl Jones, Rose Byrne, and Annaleigh Ashford in an ensemble cast.  In terms of box office, the show is off to a moderate start.   In its first week of 8 performances, it grossed $519,102, which represents 53.80% of its gross potential.  In comparison, It’s Only a Play began performances on August 28, 2014.  Also a New York revival though a Broadway premiere, this Terrence McNally play features a cast of A-list stars including Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Stockard Channing, F. Murray Abraham, Megan Mullally, and Rupert Grint.  The A-list nature of this cast is certainly showing at the box office.  In its first week of 5 performances, It’s Only a Play grossed $793,046, which represents a whomping 112.45% of the show’s gross potential.  This play looks well poised to take the Broadway fall season by storm.

As the Fall Comes In, Musicals Take a Side Seat

Throughout the summer, the big blockbuster musicals indubitably sold exceptionally well in comparison to plays.  In fact, for several summer weeks, no straight plays were running at all.  As new plays are beginning to begin performances on Broadway, and as the summer tourists are no longer arriving in full force, the bigger musicals are starting to show a slight decline.  The Lion King had a gross this week that was $23,364 lower than the week before, and Wicked declined this week by $87,040.  Furthermore, Mamma Mia! decreased by $52,645, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical decreased by $39,360, The Phantom of the Opera went down by $39,318, Cabaret decreased by $18,369, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch went down by $13,293.  Meanwhile, It’s Only a Play stormed onto the scene with $793,046 over only 5 performances, and This Is Our Youth increased its gross by $24,758 from the week before.

The following are the Broadway ticket sales numbers for the week ending August 31,2014:

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 8/31/14

 

Show GrossGross Total Attn %Cap AvgPdAdm
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER $942,205 7,339 101.14% $128.38
ALADDIN $1,506,683 13,780 99.97% $109.34
BEAUTIFUL $1,243,050 7,738 94.27% $160.64
CABARET $796,251 6,437 90.10% $123.70
CHICAGO $589,219 7,411 85.78% $79.51
CINDERELLA $638,177 8,551 61.04% $74.63
HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH $635,445 6,560 93.06% $96.87
IF/THEN $672,147 8,186 78.05% $82.11
IT’S ONLY A PLAY $793,046 5,402 101.07% $146.81
JERSEY BOYS $834,445 8,333 84.82% $100.14
KINKY BOOTS $1,246,584 10,743 94.30% $116.04
LADY DAY AT EMERSON’S BAR & GRILL $558,256 4,715 98.76% $118.40
LES MISÉRABLES $878,730 9,423 83.60% $93.25
MAMMA MIA! $697,483 8,027 86.05% $86.89
MATILDA $1,096,864 11,398 99.49% $96.23
MOTOWN THE MUSICAL $1,100,811 11,603 96.24% $94.87
ONCE $481,616 6,231 73.55% $77.29
PIPPIN $608,962 7,448 94.04% $81.76
ROCK OF AGES $372,667 4,199 90.03% $88.75
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,682,942 8,752 102.63% $192.29
THE LION KING $1,932,032 13,603 100.02% $142.03
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $980,290 11,260 87.69% $87.06
THIS IS OUR YOUTH $390,372 6,437 75.84% $60.65
WICKED $1,708,228 13,727 94.85% $124.44
YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU $519,102 7,929 92.37% $65.47
Totals: $22,905,606 215,232 90.35% $105.10

 

Broadway ticket sales raw data are provided courtesy of The Broadway League All other data, text, opinion, charts and commentary are copyright © 2014 nytix.com

Larry David’s “Fish in the Dark” Headed to Broadway

A Broadway Debut as Actor and Playwright

larry david

Larry David, the creator of HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm and co-creator of NBC’s Seinfeld, is making his Broadway debut as actor and playwright.  Fish in the Dark will begin previews on February 2, 2015 at the Cort Theatre, and the show will officially open on March 5, 2015.  The play will be directed by Anna D. Shapiro, who won a 2008 Tony Award for her helming of August: Osage County.  This season, Shapiro is directing Kenneth Lonergan’s This is Our Youth, which is produced by Scott Rudin.  Rudin is also behind Fish in the Dark, and he was also the producer of Shapiro’s staging of Motherf**ker with the Hat in 2011.  The scenic design will be by Todd Rosenthal (This Is Our Youth, Of Mice and Men), the lighting will be designed by Brian MacDevitt (A Delicate Balance, This Is Our Youth), and costume design is by Ann Roth (A Delicate Balance, It’s Only a Play).

A Super Cast for David’s Debut

anna d shapiro

Anna D. Shapiro

David’s play is not a one-man show; rather it is said to have about 15 characters, though it is not clear how many actors play these characters.  So far, the further cast members who have been announced are Jayne Houdyshell (Tony-nominated for her roles in Well and Follies), Jake Cannavale (the Broadway debut of the son of Bobby Cannavale), Jerry Adler (Taller than a Dwarf, Play Me a Country Song), Jonny Orsini (Macbeth, The Nance), and Rosie Perez (The Ritz, Reckless).  Anna D. Shapiro directed Bobby Cannavale in Motherf**ker with the Hat, so it is all too fitting that she is also the director of the show in which his son Jake makes his Broadway debut.

David’s First Play as an Adult

Larry David says this will be the first play in which he has performed since the age of 8.  He said that he has often thought of writing a play, though he has rarely thought of appearing in a play.  However, he is talented at writing characters similar to himself, and this play certainly includes a character that can be described in that way.  In fact, he says that character may just be him with a different name.  In any case, it has not yet been announced what that name is, nor have all of the details been disclosed about the story or the rest of the characters.  The New York Times reported that David has said the play involves a death in the family.  More information will come to light as the spring season approaches.