Fantasia Barrino To Be After Midnight’s First Star

Fantasia Barrino

Fantasia Barrino

After Midnight, the new Jazz Age inspired show coming to Broadway’s Brooks Atkinson Theatre this autumn, has announced that the first of a line-up of guest-star headliners will be Fantasia Barrino. Last seen on Broadway in The Color Purple, Fantasia was first brought to fame as a contestant on American Idol.

In addition to famed guest stars, After Midnight will feature 25 singers and dancers, along with a 17-person band. According to press notes, “After Midnight will celebrate Duke Ellington’s years at the Cotton Club using his original arrangements and performed by a world-class big band of 17 musicians … The timeless tunes set against a narrative of Langston Hughes poetry will provide an authentic backdrop for an array of cutting-edge performances.”

Directed and choreographed by Warren Carlyle, the production begins preview performances on October 18. Fantasia Barrino is scheduled to perform in After Midnight through February 9 2013

New John Patrick Shanley Play Hits Broadway in January

Debra Messing

Debra Messing

Manhattan Theater Club (MTC) will produce a new play by Tony Award winning playwright John Patrick Shanley in early 2014. Outside Mullingar will begin its run at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on January 2, with an opening set for January 23.

Directed by Doug Hughes, Outside Mullingar will star Debra Messing (Smash, Will & Grace) and Tony winner Brian F. OByrne, who received much acclaim for his work in Shanley’s most famous Broadway play, Doubt.

Outside Mullingar is set in rural Ireland, and tells the story of cattle farmer Anthony and his neighbor Rosemary. The funny, romantic, and poignant drama is set to play a limited 11-week engagement.

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 7/28/2013

We’re into the dead of summer now, and Broadway shows keep packing in the audiences. This week saw a half million jump in sales, with total ticket revenue going from the previous week’s $23,614,761 up to $24,169,058.

The new Broadway musical Soul Doctor, in its second week on the charts and still in previews, is showing impressive attendance for a brand new musical. The show was at 85.70% capacity last week, and up to 89.23% this week. However, the people in the seats don’t appear to be paying much for their tickets, with the latest average paid admission at a paltry $34.87 per ticket.

Eight Broadway shows made it past the million mark this week, but two actually climbed past two million. Naturally it was the duo that are usually at the top of the charts, The Lion King (the top earner, at $2,155,758) and Wicked ($2,088,425).

The following are the Broadway ticket sales numbers from the week ending July 28, 2013:

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis

Show Name GrossGross TotalAttn %Cap AvgPdAdm
ANNIE $968,295 11,612 84.98% $83.39
CHICAGO $723,859 8,752 101.30% $82.71
CINDERELLA $1,110,515 11,713 83.62% $94.81
FIRST DATE $443,723 7,685 89.86% $57.74
FOREVER TANGO $483,889 5,959 80.27% $81.20
JERSEY BOYS $892,625 9,214 93.79% $96.88
KINKY BOOTS $1,612,845 11,480 100.77% $140.49
LET IT BE $369,391 7,962 59.14% $46.39
MAMMA MIA! $965,481 10,870 90.70% $88.82
MATILDA $1,280,729 11,542 100.75% $110.96
MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL $1,483,470 12,132 100.63% $122.28
NEWSIES $953,590 9,548 100.72% $99.87
ONCE $790,372 8,133 96.00% $97.18
PIPPIN $1,079,397 8,022 101.29% $134.55
ROCK OF AGES $425,397 4,482 96.10% $94.91
SOUL DOCTOR $152,026 4,360 89.23% $34.87
SPIDER-MAN TURN OFF THE DARK $1,395,940 14,072 91.14% $99.20
THE ASSEMBLED PARTIES $361,826 4,820 92.69% $75.07
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,738,664 8,752 102.63% $198.66
THE LION KING $2,155,758 13,605 100.04% $158.45
THE NANCE $363,658 4,974 67.88% $73.11
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $1,173,574 12,775 99.49% $91.86
THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL $449,395 5,771 67.86% $77.87
VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE $706,215 6,069 96.39% $116.36
WICKED $2,088,425 15,664 96.21% $133.33
Totals: $24,169,058 229,968 91.34% $99.64

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

The Assembled Parties Closes on Broadway

The Assembled Parties Broadway ShowThe Assembled Parties are now disassembling, as the Tony Award nominated production ends its run at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre today. The closure of The Assembled Parties, which was originally scheduled to shutter on June 2, follows three extensions due to the play’s significant popularity with audiences.

Written by Richard Greenberg and produced by the Manhattan Theatre Club, The Assembled Parties introduced audiences to an affluent Jewish family living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and the friend of the family who is drawn into their drama. The play takes place in 1980 in the first act and in the year 2000 in the second act.

Co-star Judith Light won the Tony Award this year for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play, as well as the Drama Desk Award.

Off-Broadway Musical Parodies Saved By the Bell

Bayside the MusicalThe high school sitcom Saved By the Bell is getting an unauthorized parody tribute with Bayside! The Musical!, which will start performances at the Off-Broadway space Theatre 80 (80 St. Mark’s Place) on September 12. Bob and Tobly McSmith penned the music, lyrics, and book to the musical, while Jason Wise provides choreography.

Airing from 1989 to 1993, Saved By the Bell was a light-hearted NBC show that launched the careers of actors such as Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, Elizabeth Berkley, and Mario Lopez.

The show’s press notes state that, “Bayside! The Musical! tackles all the tough questions: Will Zack and Kelly break up? Will Slater quit wrestling forever? Who will develop an incurable caffeine addiction? Can the gang save The Max? Will Screech die? Bayside! The Musical! has it all: large cell phones, wrestling, feminism, ducks covered in oil, teenage pregnancy, and proms.”

Go to to learn more about the show and how to purchase tickets.

Tony Awards Broadcast Honored With Emmy Nods

Tony AwardsThis year’s Tony Awards broadcast met with a (rare) chorus of approval from Broadway theater fans — and now the annual awards show is getting recognition from the TV industry as well. The 66th Annual Tony Awards telecast, which aired early last month, has received a total of five Emmy Award nominations.

The 2012 Tony Awards broadcast earned nominations in the categories of Outstanding Special Class Programs; Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics; Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special; Outstanding Music Direction; and Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video Control for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special.

The Emmy Awards will air on the CBS network on September 22, 2013.

Idina Menzel To Star in If/Then on Broadway in 2014

Idina Menzel

Idina Menzel

If/Then, a new musical by the Next to Normal team of Brian Yorkey (book/lyrics) and Tom Kitt (music), is coming to Broadway early next year. The show is scheduled to start preview performances at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on March 4, with an opening set for March 27.

Tony Award winning actress Idina Menzel, the original Elphaba in Wicked, will star in If/Then, which will be directed by Michael Greif. Before coming to Broadway, the musical will get its world premiere in Washington D.C. at the National Theatre this coming November.

If/Then is a romantic new musical about Elizabeth, a woman who moves to New York City to get a fresh start in her life and career and discovers that the smallest decisions and occurrences have greater impact that she could have ever imagined.

Find out more about the show at

Let It Be Opens on Broadway

Let It Be Broadway ShowDirect from London, the new Beatles tribute Let It Be opens at Broadway’s St. James Theatre today. The limited-engagement production is currently scheduled to play through December 22.

Let It Be attempts to recreate the unforgettable experience of seeing The Beatles, often celebrated as the greatest rock band of all time, live in concert. Featuring a live band playing many of The Beatles’ most cherished classic songs, the show also includes video footage that illustrates the Fab Four’s humble beginnings in Liverpool to global adulation.

Tickets for Let It Be start at $30 and can be purchased at For more information on the show, visit

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 7/21/2013

As a week-long heat wave smothered New York City, many people found relief in air-conditioned Broadway theaters. Total Broadway ticket revenue increased from the previous week’s $23,190,352 to $23,614,761.

Since last week, the new dance revue Forever Tango saw a decrease in attendance (down to 73.30% from the previous week’s 82.61%).  However, the average paid admission went up by more than $30, making up for the fact that there were fewer people in the seats.

The new Beatles tribute show Let It Be began preview performances this week, but fans of the Fab Four were not out in full force. At 70.80% capacity, the new Broadway show had decent if unimpressive attendance, but the average paid admission was an extremely low $41.90.

The following are the Broadway ticket sales numbers from the week ending July 21, 2013:

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis

Show Name GrossGross TotalAttn %Cap AvgPdAdm
ANNIE $956,255 11,510 84.20% $83.08
CHICAGO $679,103 8,257 95.60% $82.25
CINDERELLA $1,135,743 11,746 83.90% $96.69
FIRST DATE $350,122 7,594 88.80% $46.11
FOREVER TANGO $430,325 5,441 73.30% $79.09
JERSEY BOYS $858,871 8,712 88.70% $98.58
KINKY BOOTS $1,604,272 11,480 100.80% $139.74
LET IT BE $399,319 9,530 70.80% $41.90
MAMMA MIA! $951,216 10,548 88% $90.18
MATILDA $1,288,941 11,539 100.70% $111.70
MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL $1,478,595 12,135 100.70% $121.85
NEWSIES $959,947 9,526 100.50% $100.77
ONCE $779,508 8,019 94.70% $97.21
PIPPIN $1,037,961 8,026 101.30% $129.32
ROCK OF AGES $423,004 4,323 92.70% $97.85
SOUL DOCTOR $109,750 2,990 85.70% $36.71
SPIDER-MAN TURN OFF THE DARK $1,277,702 12,987 84.10% $98.38
THE ASSEMBLED PARTIES $285,154 4,306 82.80% $66.22
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,749,550 8,752 102.60% $199.90
THE LION KING $2,316,189 15,186 99.30% $152.52
THE NANCE $380,778 5,022 68.50% $75.82
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $1,147,544 12,642 98.50% $90.77
THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL $423,827 5,054 59.40% $83.86
VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE $683,857 5,900 93.70% $115.91
WICKED $1,907,228 14,009 96.80% $136.14
Totals: $23,614,761 225,234 89.44% $98.90

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

Christmas Shows Avoid Broadway This Season

A Christmas Story Broadway MusicalFor the last several years, Broadway has embraced the Christmas holiday season with special limited-run shows designed specifically to entice holiday crowds. How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Elf, and A Christmas Story have all provided warm-hearted Christmas-themed cheer to Broadway audiences.

However, this winter, it appears that while there will be at least a couple of holiday friendly musicals in New York City, they won’t be playing in Broadway theaters. A Christmas Story, which was at Broadway’s Lunt-Fontanne Theater last year, will play instead at the Theater at Madison Square Garden, which has been a popular venue for other holiday fare like a musical version of A Christmas Carol.

As usual, Radio City Music Hall will have its Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the Rockettes. But neither How the Grinch Stole Christmas (which was on Broadway in 2006 and 2007) nor Elf (which played Broadway’s Al Hirschfeld Theatre in 2010 and 2012) currently plan to come to NYC. Instead, both shows will tour large regional theaters around the country.

This will be the first time since 2006 that Broadway hasn’t featured a limited-run holiday-themed show (unless something changes in the next couple months). The success of several show’s from Broadway’s spring season means that fewer theaters are available, which may be one reason for the lack of Christmas spirit on the Great White Way this year. Whether or not this is just a blip in the holiday Broadway show trend remains to be seen.