Matthew Broderick and Kristin Chenoweth To Star in CBS Pilot

Matthew Broderick

Matthew Broderick

Two of Broadway’s favorite performers, Kristin Chenoweth and Matthew Broderick, will star opposite each other in an upcoming TV comedy pilot for CBS. The new show does not yet have a title.

The television show, to be directed by TV legend James Burrows (Cheers, Frasier, Friends), is about widowed father Jack (Matthew Broderick), a man who is trying to get back into the dating game while also raising a 12-year-old son. Kristin Chenoweth will co-star as Jack’s sister Marnie, a waitress.

Both Broderick and Chenoweth are Tony Award winning performers with plenty of Broadway experience. Broderick got his start as a young man on Broadway in Brighton Beach Memoirs and Biloxi Blues in the mid-’80s and is currently headlining the Broadway musical Nice Work If You Can Get It. Chenoweth became a star with her Tony winning featured role in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown in 1999 and solidified her reputation as a Broadway star in Wicked in 2003.

Book Of Mormon Tickets Push New Price of $500 Per Ticket and Raise the Very Lowest Ticket Price to $149

Book Of Mormon

Book Of Mormon Sets Broadway Ticket Price Record

It’s already the highest priced ticket on Broadway and regularly has the highest “average paid attendance” (last week it was $191.55), but in a bid to further thwart ticket brokers, recoup some of the profit for the show’s investors, and raise money to finance the touring productions, The Book of Mormon has set a new ticket pricing schedule that raises the stakes in its premium and cheapest seat ticket prices to new Broadway ticket price records:

Premium orchestra seat tickets during popular show times are now $477 + fees. At less popular times, these seats are now $352 + fees.

Even the very back rows in the mezzanine, which were previously the only bargain at Mormon at $69 each, have been raised to $149 per ticket (these tickets are set to increase again to $159 after July 2013).  During the holidays and other popular times, the “worst seats in the theatre” have been raised to an astonishing $255. This puts the difference between the best premium seat in the house and the very worst seat at just $222, a difference of only 50%, which sets another Broadway record for lack of pricing diversity. In a bid to not completely divorce themselves from lower priced tickets, Book Of Mormon does still offer sixteen “limited legroom” seats in the very back of the mezzanine for $69, but these seats are not available online or over the telephone – and even in person,  they are sold a year in advance and for the the last eight attempts by this writer, no such tickets have been available at the box office.

All Book of Mormon tickets remain sold-out for a rolling year. But the official face value of Book Of Mormon tickets (which is somewhat academic) is now:

  • Amex Premium Ticket Desk tickets are $252.00 – $477.00
  • Select Mid-Premium Seating tickets are $227.00 – $299.00
  • Select Premium Seating tickets are $352.00 – $477.00
  • Select Premium Seating tickets are $477.00
  • Premium Seats: $352 (off-peak) – $477 (peak)
  • Regular Orchestra and Front Mezzanine Seats: $252 (off-peak) – $299 (peak)
  • Rear Mezzanine Seats: $149 (off-peak, raising to $169) – $252 (peak)

telecharge

The Book of Mormon operates on a rolling-year ticket purchase, so all well-placed regular priced tickets are sold out a year in advance.  Each week the box office makes another set of tickets available to buyers (usually a week’s worth), most of which are purchased by ticket brokers (who are the only people that would normally buy tickets a year in advance). This leaves only the less well placed ticket inventory available for the same price, closer to the performance date. For example: a ticket for a seat in Mezzanine row J on the month prior to the performance is the same price as a seat in Orchestra side row A, but only when sold a year in advance.

Ticket brokers have been actively speculating on The Book of Mormon tickets since the show received its bevy of awards at the 2011 Tonys, which drove up interest in the show by leaps and bounds. Recently, Book of Mormon tickets have become so hot that ticket brokers have even resorted to sending their staff down to the daily ticket lotteries because of the tremendous profits that can be made by selling a $32 front row seat for $400 after winning the ticket lottery – in some cases selling the tickets to clients before winning them (this is known as naked short-selling in the stock market).  Other ticket brokers can be seen on the day of the show selling these ‘recently acquired’ tickets outside the theater 30 minutes prior to the performance. Brokers have brought their full set of market manipulation techniques to bear through practices like drip feeding or scalp seeding – practices that are illegal in the New York stock market, but perfectly acceptable in the Broadway ticket market. More recently, ticket speculation for The Book Of Mormon has reached a fever pitch and is now starting to look a lot like the 1624 Amsterdam Tulip bubble, which ended disastrously for both the buyers and producers. It’s that speculation bubble that all others are now judged by and Broadway may be heading that way.

Creatively speaking, the Eugene O’Neill Theatre is the perfect size for The Book of Mormon, but from a financial perspective, it’s clear that the size of the theater is drastically limiting the revenue that the show could potentially achieve – see The Book of Mormon on the Broadway ticket sales analysis or the Broadway sales chart.  With only 1100 seats per show and eight shows per week, The Book of Mormon is missing out on a much higher attendance potential when compared with its two cousins in the the top three Broadway show list:  Wicked and The Lion King. (The disparity can actually be seen across all Broadway shows in “total attendance” when compared to Book of Mormon.)

With The Book of Mormon producers clawing back the profit from the ticket brokers by setting the new standard for pricing for this show, ticket brokers will in turn pass these price increases onto their own clients.  This could set the after-market broker ticket pricing on The Book of Mormon on Broadway at $750 to $1000 per ticket, from the $500 to $600 that they are currently on, a potential bubble in the making.

As The Book of Mormon is now the number one show on Broadway, it has within its grasp the opportunity to change the Broadway ticket game by cutting out ticket brokers for good. It’s clear that Mormon no longer needs brokers to promote the show, so if they were to add buyers’ names on tickets and demand government ID to match at the door (much like airline tickets), it could recoup all profit for the show overnight, cut out all ticket brokers, and provide consumers with a more equitable situation than the one currently being experienced with runaway pricing, no available ticket inventory and market manipulation.

Book of Mormon touring shows open at various locations across America in the coming months, but it’s unclear how this will affect sales of the New York Broadway based show tickets.  Ticket brokers may find themselves with unsold inventory, which could potentially crash the whole Broadway ticket market – something that has never happened in the history of Broadway, even dating back to the Broadway ticket speculation that transpired with the reign of Joe LeBlang in the early 1900s, when Broadway theatre had just moved uptown and the Broadway business was in its infancy.

But then again, Broadway ticket revenues weren’t $25 million per week and face value Broadway show tickets weren’t pushing $500.

Harry Potter Actor Christian Coulson To Star Off-Broadway

Christian CoulsonChristian Coulson, the actor known by Harry Potter movie fans for his role as Tom Riddle, will star in A Picture of Autumn Off-Broadway. The Mint Theater Company is presenting the American premiere of this play by N.C. Hunter.

Coulson will be joined onstage by George Morfogen, Jonathan Hogan, Jill Tanner, Helen Cespedes, Barbara Eda-Young, Curran Connor, Paul Niebanck, and Katie Firth. Directed by Gus Kaikkonen, the production will feature costumes by Sam Fleming, set design by Charles Morgan, sound design by Jane Shaw, props by Joshua Yocum, and lighting design by William Armstrong.

A Picture of Autumn, a family drama, originally played in London in 1951. The production opens on June 10 and will play through July 14. Call 212-315-0231 for information and tickets.

Broadway’s High Fidelity in Concert at 54 Below

Will Chase

Will Chase

The short-lived Broadway musical High Fidelity, which played only 13 post-opening performances in 2006 before shuttering, will get a revival of sorts next month at the popular cabaret venue 54 Below. On May 19 and 20 at 9:30pm, original Broadway production cast members Jenn Colella and Will Chase will reunite there for a concert performance of the show.

The 54 Below High Fidelity concert staging, directed by Leigh Silverman will also feature Broadway performers Mario Cantone (Assassins), Ana Gasteyer (Wicked), and Adam Chanler-Berat (Peter and the Starcatcher). For one night only, May 19, The Indigo Girls will also participate.

High Fidelity songwriters Amanda Green (Hands on a Hardbody) and Tom Kitt (Next To Normal), will also be on hand for the concert event. The cover charge for the performance is $30-$40, plus there is a $25 food and/or beverage minimum. Visit 54Below.com for ticket information.

Tony Winner Faith Prince Releases Live Album

Faith PrinceTony Award winning actress and singer Faith Prince is releasing a solo recording entitled Total Faith: Live from the Royal Room at The Colony today, April 16 (the album is also available for digital download). The album was recorded in Palm Beach, Florida in 2010.

The recording offers a lively mix of stories and songs. Among the varied collection of songs that Prince features are “If He Walked Into My Life,” “The Ladies Who Lunch,” and “Not While I’m Around”. She also includes a few medleys, such as “Somewhere That’s Green” / “Suddenly Seymour” and “Take Me Back to Manhattan” / “Before the Parade Passes By”.

Faith Prince debuted on Broadway over 20 years ago and has been seen on the Great White Way in many productions since. She has had starring roles in the revival of Bells Are Ringing, the Disney musical The Little Mermaid, and, most recently, the intimate musical A Catered Affair. Faith Prince won a Best Actress Tony Award for her role in the hit 1992 revival of Guys and Dolls.

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 4/14/2013

The Nance Broadway ShowUNEXPECTED BROADWAY TICKET SALES DECREASE
Surprisingly, just as Broadway’s new Spring season appeared to be reaching a fever pitch with several new shows opening, there was a decline in ticket sales this week.  The total Broadway ticket revenue came in at $23,143,555, down from last week’s total of $25,899,686.  A decrease of nearly $3 million seems strange at such an active time on Broadway, but it is possible that last week’s better numbers were related to a higher number of tourists visiting New York City than usual for Spring Break.  This was also the first time in several weeks that no new shows began performances.

STRUGGLING SHOWS
Many of the newest shows on Broadway are enjoying good ticket sales, but others are struggling.  Hands on a Hardbody, which closed this past weekend due to poor sales, only earned $219,352 in its final week.  Strangely, The Nance, featuring Nathan Lane, one of the Broadway theater’s most famous stars, is also seeing less-than-stellar numbers, with the average paid admission price at $50.26.  Broadway’s non-profit theater companies, Roundabout and Manhattan Theatre Club, are also seeing poor numbers for their current productions.  Roundabout’s The Big Knife is bringing in an average paid admission of $44.88, while MTC’s The Assembled Parties is doing even worse at $37.93.  The one-woman show The Testament of Mary is seeing the lowest average admission at $35.01.

WICKED BARELY BEATS THE LION KING
In the tussle for the top spot, Wicked wins again.  Though this has been a typical result lately, the Wizard of Oz inspired musical only barely came out on top this week.  Wicked earned a weekly total of $1,749,291, with The Lion King just a little behind at $1,733,283.

The following are the Broadway ticket sales numbers from the week ending April 14, 2013:

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis

Show Name GrossGross TotalAttn %Cap AvgPaidAdm
ANN $315,275 4,402 49.44% $71.62
ANNIE $767,197 8,971 65.65% $85.52
BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S $300,346 4,024 46.62% $74.64
CHICAGO $570,078 7,259 84.02% $78.53
CINDERELLA $1,007,275 10,896 77.78% $92.44
HANDS ON A HARDBODY $219,352 5,326 64.08% $41.19
I’LL EAT YOU LAST: A CHAT WITH SUE MENGERS $564,333 4,607 98.82% $122.49
JEKYLL & HYDE $451,377 8,437 66.33% $53.50
JERSEY BOYS $861,854 8,217 83.64% $104.89
KINKY BOOTS $1,026,793 10,819 94.97% $94.91
LUCKY GUY $1,400,471 9,475 100.20% $147.81
MACBETH $444,016 5,263 85.58% $84.37
MAMMA MIA! $750,520 9,033 75.38% $83.09
MATILDA $745,923 9,867 98.71% $75.60
MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL $959,091 12,063 103.63% $79.51
NEWSIES $886,357 8,881 92.90% $99.80
NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT $622,192 6,939 60.28% $89.67
ONCE $830,274 7,221 85.23% $114.98
ORPHANS $569,401 7,273 84.89% $78.29
PIPPIN $643,388 7,318 92.40% $87.92
ROCK OF AGES $401,378 4,089 87.67% $98.16
SPIDER-MAN TURN OFF THE DARK $1,010,086 11,676 75.62% $86.51
THE ASSEMBLED PARTIES $176,057 4,642 89.27% $37.93
THE BIG KNIFE $227,314 5,065 85.56% $44.88
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,676,472 8,752 102.63% $191.55
THE LION KING $1,733,283 13,550 99.63% $127.92
THE NANCE $323,250 6,432 87.77% $50.26
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $958,802 11,631 90.58% $82.44
THE TESTAMENT OF MARY $184,561 5,272 79.87% $35.01
THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL $400,444 6,126 72.04% $65.37
VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE $367,109 4,442 70.55% $82.64
WICKED $1,749,291 14,090 97.36% $124.15
Total $23,143,555 252,058 82.78% $87.11

Broadway ticket sales raw data are provided courtesy of The Broadway League. All other data, text, opinion, charts and commentary are copyright © 2013 nytix.com.

Audra McDonald To Release New Album May 21

Audra McDonaldMultiple Tony Award winner and Broadway star Audra McDonald (Porgy and Bess) is set to release her fifth solo recording on May 21. The album, titled Go Back Home, will be available on Nonesuch Records.

Along with the title song (from John Kander & Fred Ebb’s musical The Scottsboro Boys), Go Back Home will feature an array of songs from Broadway shows and other musicals, including Stephen Sondheim’s “The Glamorous Life,” Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Edelweiss,” Kander & Ebb’s “First You Dream,” and Jule Styne and Comden & Green’s “Make Someone Happy”.

As she has often done before, McDonald will feature the work of two of her favorite modern musical theater composers, Adam Guettel and Michael John LaChiusa. The album will also highlight songs by emerging composers like Adam Gwon and Will Reynolds.

Shortly before the recording’s release, Audra McDonald will perform in a May 9 concert at Avery Fisher Hall to promote the album. PBS will film the concert and subsequently broadcast it as a part of the “Live From Lincoln Center” series on May 24.

Hands on a Hardbody Ends Its Broadway Run Today

Hands on a Hardbody Broadway ShowThe first major casualty of the new Spring shows, Hands on a Hardbody closes at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre today. The new Broadway musical concludes after having played 28 preview performances and just 28 regular performances.

Inspired by a 1997 documentary that captured a real-life competition in which small town Texans competed for a brand new pickup truck by seeing who could keep their hands on it the longest, Hands on a Hardbody had music by Amanda Green and Trey Anastasio, lyrics by Amanda Green, and a book by Doug Wright.

The cast of the Broadway production of Hands on a Hardbody featured Keith Carradine (previously seen on Broadway in The Will Rogers Follies), Hunter Foster (Little Shop of Horrors, Urinetown), and Keala Settle.

Broadway Beauty Pageant To Be Held May 20

Broadway Beauty PageantThe 7th Annual Broadway Beauty Pageant will take place at NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts (60 Washington Square South) on May 20 at 8pm, and Tony Award nominated performer Tovah Feldshuh will host the event. Proceeds from the pageant will go to benefit the Ali Forney Center, which provides safe shelter for LGBT youth in New York City.

Unlike most beauty pageants, the Broadway Beauty Pageant is a male-only event, featuring cast members of Broadway shows. The men will compete in talent, interview, and swimsuit competitions. Their judges for this year’s event include Broadway and Off-Broadway stars Billy Porter (Kinky Boots), Andrea Martin, and Michael Urie. However, it is the audience who will ultimately vote to crown the winner. The most recent winner of the Broadway Beauty Pageant was Andrew Chapelle, Mr. Mamma Mia 2012.

Directed by Seth Sikes and including choreography from Paul McGill, the Broadway Beauty Pageant has tickets ranging from $25 -$150 available. With VIP tickets, you can to attend pre- and post-show cocktail receptions, and also receive premium seating and a gift bag. Get tickets here.

Harry Potter Parody – Potted Potter – Returning To Off-Broadway

Potted Potter Off-Broadway ShowFollowing a national tour, Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience – A Parody by Dan and Jeff returns to Off-Broadway this summer to play a 13-week engagement at the Little Shubert Theatre. The production had a successful limited run at that same venue last summer.

Potted Potter is written and performed by Jefferson Turner and Daniel Clarkson, who give audiences a whirlwind re-enactment of all seven Harry Potter books in just 70 minutes. The show features songs, props, theatrical magic, and numerous costume changes, not to mention its signature event, a Quidditch game that the audience participates in.

Starvox Entertainment president Corey Ross said in a statement, “Potted Potter is a wonderfully entertaining time for all ages, both fans and neophytes of the Harry Potter phenomenon alike.” Performances will begin on May 30, and the production will run through September 1. Perfect for teenagers during the summer vacation.