Glee’s Jane Lynch To Join Annie on Broadway

Jane LynchAlready a respected comic actress and improv performer due to her extensive work in films like Christopher Guest’s Best in Show, and now a well-known TV star thanks to her role on Glee, Jane Lynch is soon to add Broadway to her resume. Later this spring, Lynch will make her Broadway debut in the well-received Broadway revival of the musical Annie, now playing at the Palace Theatre.

Jane Lynch will be replacing Tony winner Katie Finneran in the role of Miss Hannigan, the tyrannical orphanage matron who serves as little orphan Annie’s nemesis in the show. “Some may say I know a thing or two about playing intimidating authority figures,” stated Lynch. “So I am excited and honored to be making my Broadway debut with the wonderful Annie

Jane Lynch is scheduled to be in Annie for just eight weeks, from May 16 through July 24.

The X Factor Musical in Development

Simon Cowell

Simon Cowell

The popular reality TV show The X Factor is soon to become a stage musical. Simon Cowell, the former American Idol judge who created the original British series (which now has an American counterpart), will produce The X Factor musical along with Stage Entertainment.

This musical version of The X Factor has already had a workshop in London. It has a book by Harry Hill and music and lyrics by Steve Brown. Simon Cowell even features as a character in the show, though its focus is on a talented singer who lives in a trailer park but dreams of stardom and auditions for The X Factor.

Simon Cowell aims to bring The X Factor musical to London’s West End, specifically the Palladium Theatre. There is hope that the musical will eventually transfer to New York.

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 2/24/2013

Following last week’s big increase to $19,053,138, this week Broadway saw a dip in total ticket revenue as sales dropped down to $18,315,913. As with most winters, Broadway has continued to see ticket sales go up and down, with mostly very modest numbers overall. But fortunately spring is around the corner, so Broadway can expect to see ticket sales steadily increase as new Broadway shows open.

Two new shows, the one-woman play Ann and the new musical Hands on a Hardbody, have just started preview performances on Broadway, but so far they have seen only modest ticket sales. Ann, which stars Holland Taylor as Texas governor Ann Richards, filled its theater to 61.94% capacity with an average paid admission of $54.38. At 88.55% capacity, Hands on a Hardbody did a better job of getting people in seats, but the average admission was only $57.86 per ticket.

Six Broadway shows earned over one million dollars this week, including popular newcomer Cinderella, soon-to-be-closing Mary Poppins (no doubt enjoying last-minute business from people who want to see it before it goes), Spiderman, The Book of Mormon, and Wicked. The top earner was Disney’s The Lion King, bringing in $1,779,324.

The following are the Broadway ticket sales numbers from the week ending February 24, 2013:

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis

Show Name GrossGross TotalAttn %Cap AvgPaidAdm
ANN $262,436 4,826 61.94% $54.38
ANNIE $972,128 10,972 80.30% $88.60
CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF $725,106 7,216 65.17% $100.49
CHICAGO $561,607 7,290 84.38% $77.04
CINDERELLA $1,045,064 11,832 99.66% $88.33
HANDS ON A HARDBODY $53,229 920 88.55% $57.86
JERSEY BOYS $844,357 8,584 87.38% $98.36
MAMMA MIA! $680,908 8,642 73.04% $78.79
MANILOW ON BROADWAY $653,063 6,553 80.36% $99.66
MARY POPPINS $1,022,585 13,485 93.80% $75.83
NEWSIES $926,915 9,275 97.02% $99.94
NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT $699,893 7,800 67.76% $89.73
ONCE $969,147 8,443 99.75% $114.79
PICNIC $331,975 5,400 91.22% $61.48
ROCK OF AGES $439,386 4,328 92.80% $101.52
SPIDER-MAN TURN OFF THE DARK $1,212,082 12,945 83.84% $93.63
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,607,985 8,752 102.63% $183.73
THE LION KING $1,779,324 14,539 96.33% $122.38
THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD $346,637 5,392 67.13% $64.29
THE OTHER PLACE $296,168 4,418 85.75% $67.04
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $950,908 12,052 93.86% $78.90
WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? $277,424 3,787 69.36% $73.26
WICKED $1,657,584 13,874 95.87% $119.47
Total $18,315,913 191,325 85.13% $90.85

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

Kristin Chenoweth Hosts The Dames of Broadway on PBS

Kristin ChenowethThe spotlight will be shining on the female characters who have made Broadway grand in the upcoming PBS broadcast of Kristin Chenoweth: The Dames of Broadway … All of ‘Em!, set to air on March 24.

Airing as part of the Live From Lincoln Center TV series on PBS, the concert itself is a part of Lincoln Center’s celebrated American Songbook series. During the evening, Chenoweth will honor the great roles for women that Broadway has brought us, from fabulous leading roles to scene-stealing featured parts.

Kristin Chenoweth is herself a favorite lady of Broadway, first gaining fans with her turn in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and going on to dazzle Broadway audiences in Wicked. More recently Chenoweth has been seen on TV in Glee and Pushing Daisies.

Picnic Wraps Up on Broadway

Picnic Broadway ShowThe Picnic ends today. Roundabout Theatre Company’s well-received production of the William Inge classic concludes its limited run at the American Airlines Theatre.

The play — which is about the dreams, regrets, and romantic entanglements of small town residents during a sweltering Labor Day — stars Sebastian Stan (TV’s Once Upon a Time) as a handsome drifter who stirs up a lot of trouble during his brief visit. His co-stars include Maggie Grace, Elizabeth Marvel, Mare Winningham, Ben Rappaport, Reed Birney, and Ellen Burstyn.

Picnic is best known by many people for its 1955 Oscar-nominated film adaptation starring William Holden and Kim Novak.

Hands on a Hardbody Begins Broadway Performances

Hands on a Hardbody Broadway ShowOne of this Broadway season’s few original new musicals, Hands on a Hardbody starts preview performances at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre today. Inspired by a real-life competition, Hands on a Hardbody is about 10 Texans who spend days in the heat keeping at least one hand on a beautiful new truck in an effort to win it.

Continuing with an intriguing trend of pop and rock music artists lending their talents to Broadway shows, Phish’s Trey Anastasio has co-written the music for Hands on a Hardbody. Amanda Green (Bring It On: The Musical) supplies both music and lyrics, and Doug Wright has written the show’s book.

The cast of Hands on a Hardbody is led by Keith Carradine, and his co-stars include Hunter Foster, Jim Newman, William Youmans, Allison Case, and Jay Armstrong Johnson, among others. The musical is set for an open run, with its opening night scheduled for March 21.

Ben Foster Replaces Shia LaBeouf in Orphans

Ben Foster

Ben Foster

Following the announcement that Shia LaBeouf would be bowing out of the new Broadway production of Lyle Kessler’s drama Orphans, currently in rehearsal, it has been announced that actor Ben Foster will be replacing him. Foster will be playing the part of Treat, the elder of two brothers – the younger is played by Tom Sturridge. Shia LaBeouf was said to have exited the production due to creative differences, presumably with co-star Alec Baldwin.

Ben Foster is well-known in the independent film scene, with movies such as The Messenger, Rampart, and the forthcoming Kill Your Darlings. This production of Orphans will mark his Broadway debut.

Despite the slight disruption in the rehearsal process, Orphans is still scheduled to begin preview performances at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre on March 19, with the official opening night set for April 7.

All-Female Glengarry Glen Ross Reading Presented in L.A.

Robin Wright

Robin Wright

With the recent Broadway revival of Glengarry Glen Ross featuring Al Pacino still fresh in many theatergoers minds, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is presenting a reading of the famed David Mamet drama that features female actors performing the all-male script.

This Glengarry Glen Ross reading will star Robin Wright (currently impressing audiences in Netflix’s House of Cards series) as Ricky Roma, Catherine O’Hara as Shelley Levene, Maria Bello in the role of Dave Moss, Mae Whitman as John Williamson, and Allison Janney playing the part of George Aaronow.

The reading is part of Jason Reitman’s “Live Read” series, in which well-known film scripts are featured in live readings. (Presumably the cast will read from the screenplay of the Glengarry Glen Ross movie adaptation.) The Glengarry Glen Ross reading is scheduled to take place on February 21 at 7:30pm.

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 2/17/2013

Total Broadway ticket revenue saw a $4 million increase this week, leaping from the previous week’s very poor $15,048,035 up to $19,053,138. Part of the credit for the increase likely goes to the fact that this was a holiday weekend (President’s Day weekend) and holidays are typically a popular time for Broadway shows.

Surprisingly there were a grand total of seven Broadway shows that made it over the million mark this week. As usual, the Top 3 was made up of The Book of Mormon, The Lion King, and Wicked (which earned the most at $1,875,920). The other million dollar babies were Mary Poppins, Spiderman, Once, and newcomer Cinderella.

Following its very promising first week, Cinderella is already looking like it may be the big Broadway hit of the spring season. The theater was filled to 100% capacity this week, and it earned a total of $1,056,544.

The following are the Broadway ticket sales numbers from the week ending February 17, 2013:

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis

Show Name GrossGross TotalAttn %Cap AvgPaidAdm
ANNIE $954,565 10,386 76.01% $91.91
CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF $957,786 8,833 79.78% $108.43
CHICAGO $675,688 7,519 87.03% $89.86
CINDERELLA $1,056,544 11,867 99.96% $89.03
JERSEY BOYS $882,204 7,938 80.80% $111.14
MAMMA MIA! $845,181 10,577 89.39% $79.91
MANILOW ON BROADWAY $610,616 6,104 74.85% $100.04
MARY POPPINS $1,015,709 12,229 85.07% $83.06
NEWSIES $823,600 8,437 88.25% $97.62
NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT $804,242 8,248 71.65% $97.51
ONCE $1,007,277 8,234 97.28% $122.33
PICNIC $302,778 5,062 85.51% $59.81
ROCK OF AGES $492,289 4,483 96.12% $109.81
SPIDER-MAN TURN OFF THE DARK $1,342,250 13,675 88.57% $98.15
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,686,039 8,752 102.63% $192.65
THE LION KING $1,795,279 13,404 99.91% $133.94
THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD $399,591 6,133 76.36% $65.15
THE OTHER PLACE $292,273 4,539 88.10% $64.39
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $929,435 11,034 85.93% $84.23
WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? $303,874 3,933 72.03% $77.26
WICKED $1,875,920 14,116 97.54% $132.89
Total $19,053,138 185,503 86.80% $99.48

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

Les Miserables Returning To Broadway in 2014

Les MiseŽrables Broadway ShowIt turns out that you just can’t keep a good show closed. Though the original 15-year Broadway run of the global hit Les Miserables ended in 2003, and a Broadway revival in 2006 was relatively short-lived, producer Cameron Mackintosh announced today that he’ll be bringing the beloved musical back to Broadway next year.

The production of Les Miserables that will be coming to Broadway in March 2014 is a re-imagining of the musical which has been successfully touring across the U.S. and internationally. The New York Times has referred to this version of Les Miz as “a splendidly reworked, unquestionably spectacular production from start to finish”.

The combination of the attention that Les Miserables has recently received due to its successful, award-winning film adaptation starring Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe, and the positive buzz that the touring production has received, is most likely what has prompted the show’s return to Broadway.

Cameron Mackintosh stated, “I am delighted that Broadway audiences will now join the millions of Americans who have already flocked to see this glorious new staging and spectacular re-imagined scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo.”