Musical Cabaret at Museum of the City of New York

In celebration of the two cities being featured in its “London Street Photography” and “City Scenes: Highlights from New York Street Photography” exhibits, the Museum of the City of New York is hosting “From West End to Broadway: A Musical Theater Cabaret”.  Taking place on Sunday, November 11 at 3pm, this musical event (part of the museum’s Perform! series) will celebrate the unique sounds of London and New York City through song.

The songs of Noel Coward, Betty Comden & Adolph Green, and Leonard Bernstein will be among the “musical snapshots” featured, creating rich pictures of these distinguished cities from past to present.  Performers Brigid Brady (The Phantom of the Opera), Destan Owens (Rent), Sarah Stiles (Into the Woods), and Peter Land (Noel and Gertie) will offer their singing talents for the event, which is directed by Michael Montel and music directed by Lawrence Yurman.

Tickets for “From West End to Broadway” are $35 for the general public, but only $25 for students, seniors, and members of the museum.  To RSVP or get further information, call 917-492-3395.  Tickets can be purchased online here.

The Lion King Holds Free Good Morning America Taping at Minskoff

Disney’s Broadway mega-hit The Lion King will be celebrating its 15th anniversary on Broadway on Tuesday, November 13 with a live broadcast from the Minskoff Theatre.  The popular ABC morning show Good Morning America will be broadcasting live from the theater to show a performance by The Lion King cast.

Fans of The Lion King are invited to come witness this free event.  The first 500 people who arrive at the Minskoff Theatre box office (located in the heart of Times Square at 200 W. 45th St.) by 7am on the morning of November 13 will be admitted into the theater for the broadcast.  The event will include the taping of additional program segments, prize giveaways, and light refreshments for attendees.

If you are under 18 years of age, you need to be accompanied by an adult to attend.  People will be seated on a first come, first served basis.  Find out more here:

Annie Opens on Broadway

Celebrating its 35th anniversary as one of the musical theater world’s most beloved family musicals, Annie opens on Broadway tonight in a new revival production directed by James Lapine.  Based on the popular 1920s Little Orphan Annie comic strips, the tuneful musical about an optimistic, redhead orphan first came to Broadway in 1977 and went on to win Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Book (written by The Producers and Hairspray scribe Thomas Meehan), and of course Best Score.  Written by lyricist Martin Charnin and composer Charles Strouse, Annie‘s memorable score includes several well-known songs, among them “Tomorrow,” “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile,” and “It’s a Hard-Knock Life”.

11-year old Lilla Crawford (who already has Broadway’s Billy Elliot on her resume) stars as Annie.  She is joined onstage by two-time Tony-winning funny lady Katie Finneran (Promises, Promises, Noises Off) as the comically villainous orphan matron Miss Hannigan and by Anthony Warlow, a musical theater star who hails from Australia, as Annie’s billionaire caretaker Daddy Warbucks.

A Christmas Story Begins Performances on Broadway

Slightly delayed following the destruction of Hurricane Sandy, A Christmas Story, The Musical is now bringing holiday cheer to Broadway as it begins performances at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater today.  Based on the beloved and nostalgic 1983 Christmas movie of the same name, A Christmas Story is the new kid on New York City theater’s holiday block, joining perennial favorite Radio City Christmas Spectacular and returning Christmas-themed musicals Elf (also based on a movie) and How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Taking place in 1940s Indiana, A Christmas Story, The Musical is about young Ralphie, a boy with a big imagination and an ardent Christmas wish to have a Red Ryder BB gun.  Pink bunny pajamas, a leggy lamp, and a mean department store Santa Claus all figure into this hilarious holiday tale.  The musical stars Dan Lauria (TV’s The Wonder Years, Lombardi on Broadway) as Jean Shepherd and Johnny Rabe as Ralphie.

A Christmas Story officially opens on Broadway on November 19.  It is a limited run production, scheduled to play through December 30.

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 11/4/2012

The total ticket revenue for Broadway shows this past week experienced an extremely sharp decrease, dropping from the already lower-than-usual $20,083,783 to an alarmingly low $13,578,724.  Broadway normally sells $22 Million in ticket inventory, so it was a loss of $9.5 Million in just one week. This Broadway sales decrease was of course no surprise, since Hurricane Sandy necessitated the cancellation of all Broadway shows on Monday and Tuesday, with some shows also cancelling performances on Wednesday.

Even once performances re-started, Broadway had many other post-storm troubles to contend with.  Airport closures and delayed flights kept tourists away for a few days (though many hopeful Broadway shows did offer special discounts to draw stranded tourists out of their hotel rooms), and the over-crowded and only partially running public transit system kept many locals from visiting Times Square.

The Book of Mormon finally beat out The Lion King on total ticket revenue for the week, though it likely has Hurricane Sandy to thank since The Lion King was one of the few Broadway shows that cancelled performances on Wednesday.  These two popular musicals, along with Wicked (which came in 2nd place among the top three earners), were the only Broadway shows to bring in over $1 million this past week–an impressive feat given the fact that New York City didn’t even have much working public transit for half of the week.

A number of shows weren’t even able to crack the $200,000 mark when it came to total sales:  An Enemy of the People, Bring It On, Cyrano de Bergerac, Peter and the Starcatcher, Scandalous, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and The Performers.  Having just begun preview performances last week when the impending arrival of Hurricane Sandy was already starting to cause problems on Broadway, The Performers has had the misfortune to begin during a far-from-ideal time.  But though the Broadway comedy featuring Henry Winkler only filled its theater to 58.14% capacity with an average paid admission of $42.76 last week, good buzz may help it see better numbers next week, when it has its official opening night.

The following are the Broadway ticket sales numbers from the week ending November 04, 2012:

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis

Show Name GrossGross TotalAttn %Cap AvgPaidAdm
AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE $142,175 2,756 61.14% $51.59
ANNIE $638,714 9,048 77.49% $70.59
BRING IT ON THE MUSICAL $198,918 3,416 42.68% $58.23
CHAPLIN $256,337 3,915 53.52% $65.48
CHICAGO $350,888 4,553 70.26% $77.07
CYRANO DE BERGERAC $123,220 2,138 41.95% $57.63
EVITA $642,500 6,515 80.83% $98.62
GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS $744,703 5,135 95.89% $145.02
GRACE $219,878 2,894 38.32% $75.98
JERSEY BOYS $651,908 6,288 85.34% $103.67
MAMMA MIA! $541,421 6,198 68.96% $87.35
MARY POPPINS $465,738 6,627 61.46% $70.28
NEWSIES $539,986 5,977 83.36% $90.34
NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT $445,632 4,945 49.09% $90.12
ONCE $783,614 6,614 89.31% $118.48
PETER AND THE STARCATCHER $185,508 3,599 49.53% $51.54
ROCK OF AGES $365,178 3,545 86.87% $103.01
SCANDALOUS $117,402 3,772 46.50% $31.12
SPIDER-MAN TURN OFF THE DARK $810,685 8,082 69.79% $100.31
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,332,221 7,658 102.63% $173.96
THE HEIRESS $373,615 4,837 72.66% $77.24
THE LION KING $1,121,501 8,862 88.07% $126.55
THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD $130,347 4,044 58.30% $32.23
THE PERFORMERS $149,584 4,023 53.36% $37.18
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $505,593 6,852 71.15% $73.79
WAR HORSE $362,566 4,234 56.58% $85.63
WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? $212,620 2,767 58.97% $76.84
WICKED $1,166,275 10,149 80.15% $114.92
Total:  $13,578,724 149,443 67.65% $83.74
Broadway ticket sales raw data are provided courtesy of The Broadway League
All other data, text, opinion, charts and commentary are copyright © 2012

In the Heights Cast Members Host Sandy Benefit

It may have been nearly two years since they played their final performance on Broadway, but cast members of the hit Broadway musical In the Heights are re-gathering for a benefit to help some of their fellow cast members who were victims of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy.

Scheduled to be held at the Metropolitan Room on Monday, November 12 at 11:30pm, this special In the Heights benefit will be directed by Kat Sherrell and hosted by Doreen Montalvo.  Christopher Jackson, Joshua Henry, Gabrielle Ruiz, Luis Salgado, Arielle Jacobs, Daniel J. Watts, Antoine Raimone, Michael Fielder, Nancy Ticotin, and Elise Hernandez are all scheduled to perform.  Surprise guests are also expected to appear.

The Metropolitan Room is located at 34 West 22nd Street (between 5th and 6th avenues).  To make reservations for the In the Heights-hosted Sandy benefit, call 212-206-0440.

BC/EFA Gives $250,000 To Sandy Recovery

Broadway’s favorite charity, Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS, has announced that it is donating $250,000 for Hurricane Sandy recovery, and it is doing so on behalf of the theatre community.  The money will come from BC/EFA’s annual fall fundraising efforts, in which Broadway, Off-Broadway, and touring shows ask for donations on behalf of the esteemed organization.  Broadway Cares is gifting these Sandy funds to three relief agencies that are working to immediately assist Hurricane Sandy victims:  American Red Cross, AmeriCares, and Community FoodBank of New Jersey.

Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS is also donating $100,000 to The Actors Fund, an organization that provides needy members of the arts community with disaster-related assistance such as emergency financial resources, temporary housing, and medical care.

Commenting on the Hurricane Sandy donations, Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS Executive Director Tom Viola said, “Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS historically has moved quickly and responsibly, on behalf of the theatre community, in responding to assist those affected by extraordinary events and natural disasters.  We want to immediately do the same by reaching out to those both in the theatre family and local communities most affected by Hurricane Sandy.”

New Broadway Show Delays Due To Sandy

Hurricane Sandy didn’t only cause the cancellation of several Broadway performances early in the week, but it also caused delays for some of the new crop of shows coming to Broadway.

A Christmas Story the Musical was originally supposed to start preview performances on Monday, November 5, but the first preview is now being delayed to Wednesday, November 7.  Producer Gerald Goehring stated that, “Due to the storm, the company has lost important rehearsal time on stage. In order to assure that the company gets the necessary time that they need to rehearse at the Lunt-Fontanne, we have decided to reschedule our first performance.”  Ticket holders for the November 5 performance can exchange them for another performance at their point of purchase.

Dead Accounts, the new play starring Katie Holmes and Norbert Leo Butz, was originally scheduled to begin preview performances this Saturday, November 3.  However, the show now won’t begin previews until Monday, November 5.  To provide some consolation for the original ticket holders to the November 3 performance, the producers of Dead Accounts are offering them a coupon for a free pint of Graeter’s ice cream, which can be redeemed at D’Agostino’s grocery stores.  The coupons can be picked up at the Music Box Theatre box office, where ticket holders of the November 3 performance can also see about exchanging their tickets for another performance date.

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 10/28/2012

Empty Times Square subway station

Weekly total sales revenue on Broadway went down for the first time in several weeks, dropping from $22,023,787 to $20,083,783.  There is little doubt that the significant $2 million drop was directly related to the specter of Hurricane Sandy, which was making its way up to New York City during the course of last week.  Though the devastating storm had not yet hit on Sunday, many potential Broadway ticket buyers were surely scared away from Broadway and from NYC altogether due to the storm’s imminent arrival.  Furthermore, public transit was shut down that evening and all Sunday night Broadway shows were canceled.

Sadly next week’s total ticket revenue will surely be far lower, taking into account the fact that Broadway shows were canceled across the board on Monday and Tuesday, along with several shows canceled on Wednesday.  Even with all Broadway shows back to normal schedules as of Thursday, November 1, there is no question that the storm’s aftermath is continuing to keep Broadway ticket buyers at bay.

Even the big Broadway hits are not completely immune to disaster, as Broadway smashes like The Book of Mormon, The Lion King, and Wicked saw drops in their weekly ticket grosses.  However, these losses were relatively slight, and even though next week will show even lower numbers for them due to Hurricane Sandy, these are the shows that can expect to bounce back quickly.

The writing was already on the wall last week when Glengarry Glen Ross began previews at nearly 100% capacity and with an average paid admission rivaled only by The Book of Mormon.  But now it is clear that the Broadway revival starring Al Pacino is a bona fide smash, easily making it into the elite group of Broadway shows that boast a weekly gross of over $1 million.  The theater filled to 98.45% capacity this week, with an average paid admission of $154.73.

In the final week of their limited run at the Broadway Theatre, Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons on Broadway saw strong numbers, getting the theater to 89.97% capacity.  Though it had little chance of beating the weekly gross of Jersey Boys–the Broadway musical that tells the true story of Frankie Valli’s rise to fame–since Jersey Boys plays at a larger theater, Frankie Valli in the flesh managed to get a higher average paid ticket price of $121.67, compared to Jersey Boys‘ average admission price of $104.88.

The following are the Broadway ticket sales numbers from the week ending October 28, 2012:

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis

Show Name GrossGross TotalAttn %Cap AvgPaidAdm
AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE $212,257 3,678 71.39% $57.71
ANNIE $703,126 9,802 73.46% $71.73
BRING IT ON THE MUSICAL $297,777 5,481 51.36% $54.33
CHAPLIN $434,473 5,640 67.46% $77.03
CHICAGO $531,685 6,454 85.37% $82.38
CYRANO DE BERGERAC $241,344 3,899 66.95% $61.90
EVITA $1,040,801 10,003 77.57% $104.05
GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS $1,142,044 7,381 98.45% $154.73
GRACE $466,187 5,698 66.01% $81.82
JERSEY BOYS $959,737 9,151 93.15% $104.88
MAMMA MIA! $667,027 7,684 73.28% $86.81
MARY POPPINS $581,807 8,782 69.81% $66.25
NEWSIES $845,173 9,338 97.68% $90.51
NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT $984,485 9,919 86.16% $99.25
ONCE $1,028,424 8,507 100.51% $120.89
PETER AND THE STARCATCHER $324,351 5,716 68.83% $56.74
ROCK OF AGES $424,387 3,809 93.33% $111.42
SCANDALOUS $222,066 6,371 58.90% $34.86
SPIDER-MAN TURN OFF THE DARK $1,047,792 10,441 77.28% $100.35
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,423,087 7,658 102.63% $185.83
THE HEIRESS $541,450 6,709 88.18% $80.70
THE LION KING $1,431,056 11,331 96.52% $126.30
THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD $223,455 5,507 68.56% $40.58
THE PERFORMERS $187,397 4,383 58.14% $42.76
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $833,059 10,935 85.16% $76.18
WAR HORSE $578,501 6,746 78.88% $85.75
WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? $283,385 3,383 61.80% $83.77
WICKED $1,657,271 14,173 97.93% $116.93
Total: $20,083,783 214,909 79.47% $88.90

Broadway ticket sales raw data are provided courtesy of The Broadway League
All other data, text, opinion, charts and commentary are copyright © 2012

Broadway Shows Offer Post-Storm Ticket Specials

As of today, Thursday, November 1, all Broadway are back to performing as scheduled.  However, the fact is that New York City is still not quite back to normal yet, especially in terms of transportation, making it hard for many potential theatergoers to make it to Broadway theaters.  To entice audiences, some Broadway shows are making special post-Hurricane Sandy ticket discounts available.

CHAPLIN – The new musical Chaplin is offering a ‘Buy 1 Ticket, Get 1 Ticket Free’ special for Thursday and Friday performances.  The offer applies to all price levels, but it can only be obtained if you purchase tickets directly at the box office of the Barrymore Theatre, where Chaplin is playing.

NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT – Even this hit Tony Award-winning musical comedy is offering a post-Sandy special.  $37 rush tickets are available for performances this Thursday and Friday to residents of areas that have been affected by the storm, which includes New York, New Jersey, Conecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina.  Tickets can be purchased starting at 10am at the Imperial Theatre box office and a valid photo ID is required.  2 ticket limit.  Seats are subject to availability.

THE PERFORMERS – This new comedy’s “Sandy Special” means that ticket buyers can get tickets for the Thursday, November 1 performance for just $29.50 for the best available seats.  Must purchase directly at the Longacre Theatre box office.

It is possible that other Broadway shows are offering ticket specials as well, so it is worth visiting their official websites or theater box offices to see what ticket discounts might be available in the coming days.