Les Miserables Soundtrack Tops Billboard

Les Miserables Motion Picture SoundtrackThe Les Miserables film is not the only Les Miz-related item topping charts this week. Due to all the hoopla surrounding the new movie, its accompanying soundtrack (Les Miserables: Highlights From the Motion Picture Soundtrack) is also selling well, placing #1 on Billboard’s Soundtracks chart and #33 on the Billboard 200. Since its December 21 release, the Les Miserables movie soundtrack has sold more than 43,000 copies. The album’s most popular track is one of the musical’s best-known songs, “I Dreamed a Dream” (sung by Anne Hathaway), which has sold over 20,000 copies.

Although the “Highlights” soundtrack does not feature all of the music heard in the 2 hour 40 minute long movie, the 20-track recording does include all of the major songs and musical sequences from the movie musical, among them “Master of the House,” “Stars,” “On My Own,” “One Day More,” “Bring Him Home,” and a new song written specifically for the movie called “Suddenly”.

Over the years, Les Miserables has had many different recordings, including the London cast album, the original Broadway cast recording, and others. Many of these albums have also experienced a boost in sales, with the Broadway recording hitting #2 on the Top Cast Albums chart, the London recording at #5, the 25th anniversary production’s accompanying recording at #7, and the Royal Albert Hall concert recording at #8.

A Christmas Story, Bring It On, and Radio City Christmas Show Close Today

Bring It On Broadway MusicalAs 2012 comes to a close, so do a couple of Broadway shows (Bring It On and A Christmas Story, along with one very popular show that is not on Broadway but at the Radio City Music Hall). Two of these shows, A Christmas Story and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, are holiday-themed productions that were designed to appeal to the Christmas tourist crowd visiting New York City. The Radio City Christmas show has of course been a staple of the NYC holiday seasons for many decades, and year after year it plays for approximately six or seven weeks during the holiday season, delighting audiences with the Rockettes’ precision dancing and the live Nativity scene.

A Christmas Story, on the other hand, was enjoying its first time in New York City. This musical adaptation of a beloved Christmas movie made a good impression on the critics and did excellent ticket sales (especially in December), so there is a good chance that this one could return to Broadway next holiday season and perhaps become a Christmas-time regular.

Bring It On‘s closing is not related to the conclusion of the Christmas holiday, but is simply the result of the show no longer selling enough tickets to make a continued run worthwhile. However, Bring It On, which opened in the summer, was originally scheduled for a very limited run that would have concluded in the autumn. But the competitive cheerleading themed musical received a positive response early in its run, prompting extensions that allowed the show to run much longer than initially planned.

2012/2013 New Year’s Schedule Changes on Broadway

Times SquareThe Christmas holiday had a considerable impact on Broadway schedules last week, prompting many shows to cancel performances on Christmas and to add matinee performances later in the week. New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, too, are known to inspire a few schedule changes for Broadway shows, and they are just a couple days away.

Naturally no Broadway show wants to hold a performance on New Year’s Eve, a night when Times Square is overflowing with revelers and many potential audience members are attending New Year’s parties, so all evening performances on December 31 have been canceled. However, a handful of shows — Jersey Boys, The Lion King, Mary Poppins, Newsies, and Peter and the Starcatcher — are offering special Monday matinee performances that day.

On January 1, New Year’s Day, most Broadway shows are having Tuesday evening performances as usual. Family-friendly Annie, however, is taking the unusual step of having matinee that day. To view the entire New Year’s week schedule, click here.

Les Miserables Movie Tops Christmas Box Office

Les MiserablesBroadway musical theater fans can breathe a sigh of relief as the Hollywood box office grosses have revealed that the new Les Miserables movie had a very strong opening day. The 2nd highest ranking Christmas Day opening of all time, Les Miserables earned $18.1 million on its first day in movie theaters, drawing out holiday audiences eager to see Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe go head-to-head on the big screen. The film has also enjoyed a largely positive critical response, currently at 73% positive on RottenTomatoes.com.

While Broadway fans have flooded message boards with reviews of the movie adaptation of the beloved musical, the movie’s great box office performance can be counted as a plus for most Broadway fans whether they like Les Miz or not, because when a new Hollywood movie musical does well it bodes well for future film musicals. There is already buzz that Les Miz‘s success means there will soon be a screen adaptation of Miss Saigon, the other major musical success by Les Miz‘s songwriting team, Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil.

Cuba Gooding, Jr., Vanessa Williams To Be on Broadway This Spring

Cuba Gooding Jr.A starry cast is gathering for The Trip to Bountiful, which is coming to Broadway’s Stephen Sondheim Theatre this Spring. As already announced, Cicely Tyson will take the lead role of Carrie Watts, an older woman who yearns to return to her hometown of Bountiful, Texas. It is now confirmed, though, that she will be joined by two other stars, Cuba Gooding, Jr. (Jerry Maguire, Red Tails) and Vanessa Williams (Broadway’s Into the Woods, TV’s 666 Park Avenue), along with up-and-comer Condola Rashad (a standout in the recent Broadway play Stick Fly).

Cuba Gooding, Jr. will play Carrie Watts’ overprotective son, and Vanessa Williams will be her domineering daughter-in-law in this revival of the Horton Foote-penned drama. The Trip to Bountiful is set to play a strictly limited 14-week run, which will begin on March 31, 2013 with preview performances, and then have its official opening on April 23.

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 12/23/2012

The Lion King Broadway MusicalSTRONG PRE-CHRISTMAS TICKET SALES
This past week’s ticket sales reflected a kind of “pre-Christmas” period, as many people had already begun gathering for the holiday at the end of the week ending 12/23. Accordingly, Broadway saw a boost in total ticket revenue, bringing in $25,850,274 (up well over $2 million from the previous week’s $23,488,097).

THE LION KING AND WICKED TOP 2 MILLION
Disney’s The Lion King won the week, earning a total of $2,129,609, and Wicked was close at its heels at $2,100,170. The third Broadway show in the mighty trio of top earners, The Book of Mormon, was uncharacteristically quite a bit further behind at $1,684,372. However, that difference of roughly $500,000 in sales is not due to any lag on Mormon‘s part, which sells out at top ticket prices week after week, but is rather due to the fact that Wicked and Lion King have much larger theaters and therefore much larger earning potential.

ANOTHER BAD WEEK FOR PICNIC AND THE OTHER PLACE
The revival Picnic and the new play The Other Place, both of which just recently began performances on Broadway, had another difficult week. With reviews not yet out, and any little potential word of mouth drowned out by the distraction of the more tourist-friendly shows that are popular at Christmas, these two plays each brought in approximately $149,000, making them by far the lowest earners of the week.

The following are the Broadway ticket sales numbers from the week ending December 23, 2012:

Broadway-Show-Ticket-Analys

Show Name Gross Attendance Capacity AvgPaidAdm
A CHRISTMAS STORY $1,491,488 12,784 93.76% $116.67
ANNIE $1,156,962 11,156 81.65% $103.71
BRING IT ON THE MUSICAL $664,725 8,848 82.91% $75.13
CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF $843,215 8,194 84.58% $102.91
CHAPLIN $327,970 4,912 58.76% $66.77
CHICAGO $558,489 6,018 79.60% $92.80
DEAD ACCOUNTS $243,154 3,076 38.11% $79.05
ELF $1,233,926 10,547 82.30% $116.99
EVITA $774,870 7,718 59.85% $100.40
GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS $1,194,666 8,284 96.69% $144.21
GOLDEN BOY $319,723 4,815 60.80% $66.40
GRACE $284,889 3,927 45.49% $72.55
JERSEY BOYS $950,424 8,166 83.12% $116.39
MAMMA MIA! $761,891 8,701 72.61% $87.56
MARY POPPINS $888,346 10,968 76.29% $80.99
NEWSIES $952,451 8,871 92.79% $107.37
NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT $720,127 7,216 62.68% $99.80
ONCE $1,070,355 8,335 98.48% $128.42
PETER AND THE STARCATCHER $402,773 5,493 66.15% $73.32
PICNIC $149,300 3,949 66.71% $37.81
ROCK OF AGES $490,315 4,323 92.69% $113.42
SPIDER-MAN TURN OFF THE DARK $1,471,237 12,386 80.22% $118.78
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,684,372 8,752 102.63% $192.46
THE HEIRESS $406,273 4,292 56.41% $94.66
THE LION KING $2,129,609 13,421 100.04% $158.68
THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD $413,229 5,832 72.61% $70.86
THE OTHER PLACE $149,652 3,610 70.07% $41.45
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $978,948 11,394 88.74% $85.92
WAR HORSE $749,792 8,294 96.98% $90.40
WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? $286,937 3,205 58.55% $89.53
WICKED $2,100,170 13,426 92.77% $156.43
Total: $25,850,274 240,913 77.26% $99.41

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

Les Miserables Movie Opens Christmas Day

Les MiserablesFans of the worldwide sensation Les Miserables don’t have to wait one day more to finally see the much-anticipated movie version of the musical. Directed by Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) and featuring an international all-star cast, Les Miserables opens nationwide in movie theaters today, and is likely to be a hit with the Christmas Day movie theater-going crowd who have gathered with their families for the holidays.

Based on the classic Victor Hugo novel that tells the stories of multiple characters during a period of revolution in 1800s France, Les Miserables was one of the great stage musical hits of the 1980s, becoming a huge success in London, on Broadway, and all across the globe. The long-awaited movie adaptation stars Hugh Jackman as convict-turned-philanthropist Jean Valjean and Russell Crowe as his police inspector nemesis Javert. The film also stars Anne Hathaway (singing one of the musical’s signature numbers, “I Dreamed a Dream”), Helena Bonham Carter, Eddie Redmayne, and Broadway’s own Aaron Tveit (Next To Normal) in key roles.

As usual with movie musicals, which have been a Hollywood rarity for decades, the Broadway community will be eager to see how the Les Miserables film is received by the public at large because, if it does well, that will be considered a good omen for more Hollywood musicals.  Furthermore, many Broadway fans will be anxious to see whether or not the movie lives up to their expectations in its adaptation of the familiar and well-loved musical.

The Broadway Channel To Expand in New York

broadwaychannelA new partnership with RCN Cable is about to bring programming from The Broadway Channel into many more NYC homes. As a result of the agreement, RCN Cable New York will launch a linear cable channel, Channel 76, in New York and Manhattan. In addition to covering more Manhattan hotels (The Broadway Channel already provides programming for numerous hotels in the borough), this new channel will allow The Broadway Channel to reach roughly 85,000 home subscribers.

Broadway Channel programming includes shows like Broadway Previews, What’s Hot on Broadway, and Broadway Profiles, which is hosted by Tamsen Fadal. Interviews with Broadway stars, opening night coverage, and informative features on Broadway shows are among the things that viewers can expect to see on The Broadway Channel.

VP/GM RCN New York City. “The addition of this network will help inform the theatre going crowd and determine which shows are
best for them based on their interest so they get the ultimate Broadway experience when they attend,” stated RCN New York VP
Bruce Abbott.

A Chance to Win Les Miserables Memorabilia

24601Music Theatre International (MTI), which licenses productions of the musical Les Miserables, in conjunction with Universal Studios, the studio behind the soon-to-open film version of the beloved musical, is presenting the “24,601 Faces of Les Miserables Sweepstakes,” offering fans an opportunity to win memorabilia from the movie and musical.

You can enter the Les Miz sweepstakes by uploading a video of yourself describing your favorite Les Miz moment, a photo or video of you and friends at a showing of the movie, or by uploading a photo or video of yourself from a production of Les Miserables (or a production of the Les Miserables School Edition) that you participated in. You also need to give the photo/video a title, include a small description, and be sure to tag the picture with the number “24601″.

Four winners will be selected to win an assortment of prizes, such as the Les Miserables libretto autographed by the show’s creators, promotional materials from the film, the original Victor Hugo novel, the original Broadway cast recording of the show, and the Les Miserables in Concert 25th Anniversary DVD.

Entries are being accepted through the end of day January 3, 2013. Winners will be selected at random each Friday of the sweepstakes. Click here for more information about entering the contest.

50 Shades of Grey Parody Musical To Play NYC

50The best-selling Fifty Shades of Grey book trilogy is now a musical, and it will be making its New York City premiere this January. A parody of the literary phenomenon, 50 Shades! The Musical has already played at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and in Chicago.

Featuring the comedy ensemble Baby Wants Candy, the 50 Shades musical is set at a women’s book club, and as the ladies read Fifty Shades of Grey, their interpretations of the books come to musical life in the form of dance numbers and original songs like “They Get Nasty” and “There’s a Hole Inside of Me”.

50 Shades! The Musical will play at the Gramercy Theatre (127 E. 23rd Street) from January 11-12, 2013. Learn more at BabyWantsCandy.com and buy tickets at Ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-745-3000.