Broadway’s Richard Rodgers Theatre Gets $3.5 Million Renovation

Richard Rodgers TheatreThe Richard Rodgers Theatre, located on 46th Street between 7th and 8th avenues, has undergone significant renovations in preparation for its latest tenant, the new Broadway production of William Shakespeare’s tragedy Romeo and Juliet starring Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad.

The renovation project came in at $3.5 million and was done under the supervision of EverGreene Architectural Arts. Restorers removed numerous coats of paint from the theater, bringing it back to its original color palette (the Richard Rodgers was built in 1925 and opened under the name Chanin’s 46th Street Theatre). In addition, a pair of murals were installed in the stage wall, and gold leaf has been added in various parts of the theater.

All of the theater’s seats were replaced with new ones, and, perhaps most notable for Broadway fans, the restrooms have been expanded.

True Blood’s Stephen Moyer To Co-Star in TV Sound of Music

Stephen MoyerNBC’s live television production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music starring Carrie Underwood as Maria now has a Captain von Trapp to play opposite her. Actor Stephen Moyer will take on the part of the demanding widower who was memorably played on screen by Christopher Plummer.

Though Stephen Moyer is primarily known to audiences for his starring role on the hit vampire-themed TV show True Blood, he does have previous stage experience. Most recently Moyer played the part of smooth-talking lawyer Billy Flynn in Chicago at the Hollywood Bowl.

Produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (TV’s Smash), the new production of The Sound of Music will be broadcast live on NBC on December 5.

Broadway’s Motown the Musical Launches Casting Call

Motown the Musical Broadway ShowMotown the Musical, the new Broadway mega-hit, is launching a nationwide casting call for both the Broadway production and the forthcoming national tour. The show’s producers are in search of talented African-American performers to fill a variety of roles.

The first casting call, dubbed “Makin’ It Motown,” will be held at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater in New York City on September 13 from 11am to 2pm. A second open call is scheduled for the Oriental Theatre in Chicago on September 14 at 11am to 2pm.

African-American women and men aged 20s to 40s with excellent singing voices are invited to audition, as are African-American boys (aged 8-13) for the role of young Michael Jackson. Theater experience is not necessary to audition.

Go to to get more information, or email for further details.

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 8/25/2013

Total Broadway ticket sales decreased again this week, as summer winds down to its conclusion.  Broadway ticket revenue fell by over one million, dropping from $21,839,390 to $20,604,711.    

A surprise hit during Broadway’s spring season this year, the Christopher Durang play Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike ended its run this week.  The wacky comedy enjoyed excellent sales during much of the summer, and in its final week, Vanya earned a total of $565,571, hitting 85.01% theater capacity and taking in an average paid admission of $105.67.

Perhaps William Shakespeare’s best known tragedy, Romeo and Juliet has gotten off to a good start in its first week of Broadway previews.  The latest revival of the 400-year old drama had over 91% attendance with an average paid admission of $86.77 per ticket.  The end of summer can be a difficult time to open a show on Broadway, but the recognizable title and the fact that the production stars British movie heartthrob Orlando Bloom (The Lord of the Rings) is likely working in its favor.

The following are the Broadway ticket sales numbers from the week ending August 25, 2013:

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis

Show Name GrossGross TotalAttn %Cap AvgPdAdm
ANNIE $747,017 9,463 69.25% $78.94
CHICAGO $592,959 7,520 87.04% $78.85
CINDERELLA $811,958 8,941 63.83% $90.81
FIRST DATE $411,514 6,207 72.58% $66.30
FOREVER TANGO $206,708 4,205 56.64% $49.16
JERSEY BOYS $762,714 8,172 83.18% $93.33
KINKY BOOTS $1,635,009 11,480 100.77% $142.42
LET IT BE $321,418 5,726 42.53% $56.13
MAMMA MIA! $831,600 9,470 79.02% $87.81
MATILDA $1,320,097 11,539 100.72% $114.40
MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL $1,401,954 11,701 97.06% $119.81
NEWSIES $809,180 8,987 94.80% $90.04
ONCE $635,876 7,002 82.65% $90.81
PIPPIN $1,003,459 7,839 98.98% $128.01
ROCK OF AGES $352,664 3,992 85.59% $88.34
ROMEO AND JULIET $207,375 2,390 91.22% $86.77
SOUL DOCTOR $187,435 4,729 84.21% $39.64
SPIDER-MAN TURN OFF THE DARK $966,952 10,705 69.33% $90.33
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,698,210 8,752 102.63% $194.04
THE LION KING $1,875,882 13,603 100.02% $137.90
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $1,068,863 11,779 91.74% $90.74
THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL $481,516 5,243 70.46% $91.84
VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE $565,571 5,352 85.01% $105.67
WICKED $1,708,781 13,223 91.37% $129.23
Totals: $20,604,711 198,020 83.36% $97.56

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

Dames At Sea To Hit Broadway In 2014

Dames at SeaIt has been announced that the musical Dames at Sea will get a production on Broadway next year. Dames at Sea features music by Jim Wise, and book and lyrics by Robin Miller and George Haimsohn.  This new production will have music direction from Rob Berman and direction/choreography by Tony nominee Randy Skinner.

A tap-happy celebration of the Golden Era of film musicals, Dames at Sea originally opened Off-Broadway in 1968 in a production starring Bernadette Peters, playing what was a breakthrough role for the eventual Tony Award winning actress and Broadway icon.

“This is a quintessential American musical with an amazingly tuneful score and a really clever book, and this Dames will have more dancing than ever before,” stated the production’s director and choreographer, Randy Skinner. “For the first time in New York, Dames will be heard with a fully orchestrated score.”

Kenneth Branagh’s Macbeth Will Come To New York

Kenneth BranaghThe acclaimed Manchester International Festival production of William Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth, starring Kenneth Branagh, will come to Park Avenue Armory in New York City next summer. Though Branagh has a great deal of experience on the English stage, this will mark the esteemed actor’s New York stage debut.

Featuring Kenneth Branagh in the title role and Alex Kingston (also making her debut on the NYC stage) as Lady Macbeth, the production has set and costume design by Christopher Oram, lighting by Neil Austin, sound design courtesy of Christopher Shutt, and music by frequent Branagh collaborator Patrick Doyle.

Referring to the Armory space where the production will be staged, Branagh stated that, “Utilizing the possibilities of the vast open space is a truly exciting prospect. I am delighted that we have the chance to recreate Macbeth in this epic setting.”

Broadway Sleep Out Raises $136,000 For Covenant House

Broadway Sleeps OutBroadway literally took to the streets on August 19, sleeping outside Manhattan’s Covenant House crisis shelter to show support for the hundreds of homeless young people living inside. Dubbed the Broadway Sleep Out, the event was designed to raise awareness about the plight of New York City’s homeless youth while also raising money to provide them with clothes, food, and shelter.

Over 50 Broadway artists took part in the Sleep Out, including Rory O’Malley (The Book of Mormon), Capathia Jenkins (Newsies), Sebastian Arcelus (A Time to Kill), Alice Ripley (Next to Normal), Adriane Lenox, Stephanie J. Block, Michael McElroy, and composer Frank Wildhorn (Jekyll & Hyde). The event resulted in more than $136,000 being raised.

“Getting to be here at Covenant House and see the courage of these kids and hear their struggles,” stated Frank Wildhorn, “I am touched and so happy to be able to help in any way I can.”

Tyne Daly To Star in Mothers and Sons on Broadway

Tyne DalyThe new Terrence McNally play, which recently had its premiere at Bucks County Playhouse, will come to Broadway in the spring of 2014. The production of the play, titled Mothers and Sons and scheduled to be directed by Sheryl Kaller, will star Tyne Daly (Rabbit Hole, Gypsy).

Mothers and Sons is about a woman who, 20 years after her son’s death, turns up on the doorstep of his former lover, now married with a son.

Tony Award winning playwright Terrence McNally has had many of his plays on Broadway over the years, including Love! Valour! Compassion! and Master Class. He has also written the books for many Broadway musicals, Ragtime and The Full Monty among them.

Broadway Week Coming Up September 2-15

Broadway Week_edited_3Broadway Week is back. Occurring twice annually, Broadway Week is a promotional event in which participating Broadway shows offer 2-for-1 ticket deals for a limited time. This year, Broadway Week — which is always more than a week long — is scheduled for September 2-15.

To take advantage of these buy one get one free Broadway ticket deals, ticket buyers just use a special discount code when they buy their tickets through their selected show’s official ticket seller.

While many Broadway shows take part in Broadway Week, not all do. Some top-selling Broadway musicals such as The Book of Mormon, Motown the Musical, Pippin, Matilda, and Kinky Boots are not offering two for one discount deals, presumably because they are doing so well selling full-price tickets right now that they are unwilling to offer any kind of discount, even for a limited period of time.

Broadway WeekInterestingly, though, the two most popular shows on Broadway right now, The Lion King and Wicked, are participating in Broadway Week. The reason for this likely has to do with the fact that Wicked and The Lion King have both been running on Broadway for a long time and have long since paid back their investments, meaning they can better afford to briefly offer a promotional discount.  That said, the discount allotment for those two shows have already sold out, so hopeful Broadway Week buyers should be sure to act fast next time.

To see the complete list of participating shows and to find out more about Broadway Week, click here.

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 8/18/2013

With many New York City locals away on vacation, and perhaps too many tourists already heading home to get a start on their back-to-school shopping, Broadway saw a decline in revenue this past week.  Sales, which were previously at $23,335,894, fell by nearly one and a half million dollars, coming in at a total of $21,839,390 this week.

Predictably, from week to week, the top three Broadway money makers are The Lion King, Wicked, and The Book of Mormon, with the first two alternating in the #1 and #2 spot (The Lion King took it this week, as it has for most of the summer) and The Book of Mormon almost always taking the #3 place.  But a new Top 3 contender may be emerging with Kinky Boots, the Tony Award-winning hit that has been selling out.  While The Book of Mormon still earned third place with $1,741,615, Kinky Boots came in at a very close fourth with $1,649,031.

The following are the Broadway ticket sales numbers from the week ending August 18, 2013:

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis

Show Name GrossGross TotalAttn %Cap AvgPdAdm
ANNIE $806,640 9,975 73.00% $80.87
CHICAGO $678,773 8,253 95.52% $82.25
CINDERELLA $980,547 10,216 72.93% $95.98
FIRST DATE $424,227 6,881 80.46% $61.65
FOREVER TANGO $282,884 4,806 64.74% $58.86
JERSEY BOYS $812,903 8,733 88.89% $93.08
KINKY BOOTS $1,649,031 11,480 100.77% $143.64
LET IT BE $316,572 5,329 39.58% $59.41
MAMMA MIA! $953,280 10,487 87.51% $90.90
MATILDA $1,329,084 11,542 100.75% $115.15
MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL $1,437,843 11,980 99.37% $120.02
NEWSIES $904,461 9,316 98.27% $97.09
ONCE $708,350 7,682 90.68% $92.21
PIPPIN $1,023,367 7,921 100.01% $129.20
ROCK OF AGES $384,217 4,185 89.73% $91.81
SOUL DOCTOR $200,673 4,958 88.28% $40.47
SPIDER-MAN TURN OFF THE DARK $1,025,358 10,612 78.55% $96.62
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,741,615 8,752 102.63% $199.00
THE LION KING $2,112,788 13,511 99.35% $156.38
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $1,167,085 12,479 97.19% $93.52
THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL $473,711 5,717 67.23% $82.86
VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE $554,932 5,337 84.77% $103.98
WICKED $1,871,050 13,880 95.91% $134.80
Totals: $21,839,390 190,152 86.79% $100.86

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