In its first year on Broadway, Kinky Boots has already made back its original investment of $13.5 million, an impressive accomplishment for any Broadway musical. By comparison, current top show competitors of Kinky Boots, Wicked and The Book of Mormon recouped in 14 and 8 months respectively. And with little to no discounting, Kinky Boots profitability has no end in sight.
“We’re so happy that audiences have embraced Kinky Boots in such an overwhelming way,” stated the show’s lead producers, Daryl Roth and Hal Luftig. “We’re proud that this show offers people such great joy, Tony Award-winning talent, and financial success, and it’s exciting to be able to make this announcement in such a remarkably short time.”
Kinky Boots, which is based on the independent British movie of the same name, began performances at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre on March 4. The musical went on to win several Tony Awards this past June, including Best Musical and Best Score for Cyndi Lauper.
The 3rd annual “Artists for World Peace on Broadway” benefit will give numerous Broadway performers an opportunity to gather to sing and dance in an intimate setting and raise money for a good cause at the same time. The event is scheduled for this Sunday, October 13 at 8:45pm.
The concert will feature Clarke Thorell (Annie, Hairspray), Stephen Carrasco (Kinky Boots, Ghost), Liana Hunt (Newsies), Natalie Gallo (Jersey Boys), Blake Whyte (Wicked), Ian Paget (Soul Doctor), and many others. The evening will close with an original Bollywood dance number choreographed by Monica Kapoor (Mamma Mia!).
“Artists for World Peace on Broadway” will be held at 54 Below (254 W. 54th Street). Tickets are $150, and proceeds from the event will support the non-profit Artists for World Peace, which works to feed and house the poor and to provide various community services. Learn more at ArtistsForWorldPeace.org.
The Broadway revival of The Trip to Bountiful ends its run at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre today. The play first premiered on Broadway in 1953 in the very same spot, back when it was known as Henry Miller’s Theatre.
Written by the late Horton Foote, The Trip to Bountiful debuted as a televised play on NBC a few months before opening on Broadway. It is also well-known from its 1985 film version starring Geraldine Page, who won an Oscar for her performance.
This latest production starred Cicely Tyson as Carrie Watts, the elderly woman who slips away from her son and daughter-in-law’s cramped Houston home and takes a bus to see her beloved hometown of Bountiful one last time. When it opened, the production co-starred Cuba Gooding Jr., Vanessa Williams, and Condola Rashad.
This production closed with a respectful $673,002 of ticket sales in its last week, with over 87% of the theatre seats sold, totaling 6474 patrons paying an average of $103.95 per ticket. The show ran for 178 performances that opened on April 23 2013 following previews that began March 30 2013 at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre at 124 West 43rd Street, New York City
The show was nominated for four Tony Awards, including:
Best Actress in a Play (Cicely Tyson),
Best Featured Actress in a Play (Condola Rashad),
Best Sound Design for a Play (John Gromada)
Best Revival of a Play.
Tyson won the Tony Award for her performance as Mother Carrie Watts.
The new Broadway musical Big Fish, which began preview performances at September 5, opens today at the Neil Simon Theatre. Based on the Daniel Wallace novel and the subsequent Tim Burton film of the same name, Big Fish is scheduled for an open run.
Big Fish is about the relationship between a tall-tale telling traveling salesman named Edward Bloom and his grown son Will, who wants to find out the origin of his father’s many wild stories.
Broadway favorite Norbert Leo Butz (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Catch Me If You Can) stars in the Broadway production of Big Fish, and he is joined by co-stars Bobby Steggert and Kate Baldwin. Susan Stroman directs and choreographs, while Julian Crouch provides set designs.
The forthcoming Broadway music revue After Midnight, which has already announced cast members Adriane Lenox and Dule Hill along with featured singer Fantasia Barrino, now has its line-up of musicians set to serve as the Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars.
Selected by jazz legend Wynton Marsalis, the All-Stars will include Gregory Gisbert, Bruce Harris, James Zollar, and Alfonso Horne on trumpets; Arthur Baron, James Burton III, and Wayne Goodman on trombones; Godwin Louis, Mark Gross, Andrew Farber, Daniel Block, and Kurt Bacher on woodwinds; James Chirillo on guitar; Adam Birnbaum on piano; Jennifer Vincent on bass; and Alvester Garnett on drums.
After Midnight starts preview performances at Broadway’s Brooks Atkinson Theatre on October 18, with an opening night scheduled for November 3.
The hit Broadway musical Wicked has been playing on the Great White Way for 10 years now, and the show is celebrating by releasing a deluxe two-disc edition of its original Broadway cast recording (available for digital download on October 29 and in stores on November 19).
The deluxe 10th Anniversary Wicked cast recording will feature bonus tracks, the single “Popular Song” by MIKA, new artwork, and a booklet that includes new essays by songwriter Stephen Schwartz and novelist Gregory Maguire. A vinyl edition of the album will also be available, directly for purchase at the Gershwin Theatre where Wicked plays or on WickedtheMusical.com.
Other Wicked 10th anniversary celebrations taking place this month include a showcase of the musical’s memorabilia and costumes at the NBC Experience Store at Rockefeller Center, as well as Facebook and Twitter promotions that will offer prizes to fans.
Broadway fans will get several opportunities to see Broadway musicals on the big screen this fall when the “Direct from Broadway” series by Specticast presents special screenings of Broadway shows.
The series will feature five musicals, including Tony Award winning Memphis, the Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller rock ‘n’ roll revue Smokey Joe’s Cafe, the Stephen Sondheim musical revue Putting It Together, Jekyll & Hyde starring David Hasselhoff, and Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies.
Tapings of these shows will be screened at select movie theater across the country in October, November, and December. To find out where “Direct from Broadway” screenings will take place, visit directfrombroadway.net.
It has been announced that multiple Tony Award winner Bernadette Peters will star A Bed and a Chair: A New York Love Affair. The show is a collaboration between legendary Broadway composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim and famed jazz artist Wynton Marsalis.
A Bed and a Chair, which is directed by John Doyle and choreographed by Parker Esse, will also feature the talents of Meg Gillentine, Tyler Hanes, and Cyrille Aimée. It was conceived by Doyle, along with Peter Gethers and Jack Viertel.
Featuring over 24 Stephen Sondheim compositions, each re-imagined by Wynton Marsalis, A Bed and a Chair will play New York City Center from November 13-17 as an Encores! Special Event. Learn more at jalc.org.
Broadway gets rocking on November 11 when Rockers on Broadway takes over (le) Poisson Rouge. The benefit concert will celebrate the collaboration between The Who’s Pete Townshend and Broadway director Des McAnuff, who worked together to bring The Who’s Tommy to Broadway in 1993.
Founded by Donnie Kehr (an original member of the Broadway cast of Tommy), Rockers on Broadway is held periodically to give Broadway performers a chance to rock out in support of charity. This newest concert will raise funds for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, The Broadway Dreams Foundation, and the ASCAP Foundation’s Children Will Listen Program.
“Rockers began because Pete wanted Tommy‘s cast of Broadway performers to get some experience performing in rock clubs to understand what he did,” stated Kehr. “So our first event actually had rock god Pete Townshend playing backup for Alice Ripley, Norm Lewis, Michael Cerveris, myself and others to help give our Broadway performances a rock n’ roll edge. And that spirit has guided 20 years of Rockers On Broadway.”
The performance line-up for Rockers on Broadway has not yet been announced, but further information can be found at rockersonbroadway.com. Tickets start at $30. Call 212-505-3474 to purchase.
The Upper East Side location of Barnes & Noble (150 E. 86th Street) continues its commitment to Broadway and Off-Broadway theater fans with a new event scheduled for October 14 at 4pm which will feature the recent Off-Broadway musical The Last Five Years.
Betsy Wolfe and Adam Kantor, who starred in the revival of the two-person musical, will perform along with the show’s composer/lyricist Jason Robert Brown. All three will also sign copies of the production’s new cast recording, which was just released in stores on September 24.
This new recording of The Last Five Years (which was first recorded in 2002) is produced by Brown, as well as executive producers Stacey Mindich and Kurt Deutsch.