Broadway Salutes Armed Forces With Veterans Day Event

Arts in the Armed ForcesBroadway will host the United States Armed Forces on November 11 at 7pm with a special Veterans Day performance at Broadway’s American Airlines Theatre (currently home to Roundabout Theatre Company’s The Winslow Boy). Presented by Arts in the Armed Forces (AITAF), the 5th Annual Veterans Day Performance will include a mix of scenes, monologues, and live music.

Broadway performers such as David Schwimmer, Amy Ryan, Adam Driver, Michael Shannon, Tracie Thoms, Francois Battiste, and Marylouise Burke are among those scheduled to perform, as well as Girls‘ star Lena Dunham.

Current and former members of the armed services and their families are invited to attend the event for free, and civilians are welcome to attend for a $25 donation (donate at www.aitaf.org). Send an email to contact@aitaf.org for ticketing information.

AITAF aims to to provide recognition, education, inspiration, and entertainment for active military members and veterans alike through the power of the performing arts.

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 10/27/2013

Macbeth on BroadwayANOTHER SLIP IN BROADWAY SALES
New shows may be popping up right and left on Broadway currently, but at the moment the ticket sales numbers aren’t rising accordingly. This week saw a drop in overall Broadway revenue as sales dropped from last week’s $24,038,295 down to $23,158,295.

ETHAN HAWKE STARS IN MACBETH
With one Macbeth (Alan Cumming’s recent solo version) barely gone from Broadway, a new Macbeth arrives at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theatre this week to begin previews.  This latest version of the classic William Shakespeare tragedy, which features Ethan Hawke as the ambitious title character, got off to a good — if not great — start, with 86.53% attendance and a $72.18 average paid admission.  So far the production has done limited advertising, though, so once more people discover that Hawke is starring, that could affect sales positively.

A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE BEGINS PREVIEWS
The new Broadway comedy A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder starring Jefferson Mays gets off to a decent start as it starts preview performances at the Walter Kerr Theatre. Though it is coming to Broadway with little buzz, the show still managed to fill the theater to 82.33% capacity, but the average paid admission was a modest $63.66 per ticket.

PATRICK STEWART AND IAN MCKELLEN ON BROADWAY
Two of the stage’s most gifted actors, Patrick Stewart (Star Trek) and Ian McKellen (The Lord of the Rings), take on not one but two plays in repertory with the new productions of No Man’s Land and Waiting for Godot, which began previews this week.  At 92.54% capacity, they are not having any trouble filling seats, and the average ticket price is a very healthy $102.11.

The following are the Broadway ticket sales numbers from the week ending October 27, 2013:

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis

Show GrossGross Total Attn %Cap AvgPdAdm
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER $311,467 4,893 82.33% $63.66
A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN $433,141 5,143 84.48% $84.22
A TIME TO KILL $247,168 4,010 62.50% $61.64
AFTER MIDNIGHT $431,132 7,519 92.69% $57.34
ANNIE $654,875 8,926 78.52% $73.37
BETRAYAL $1,103,682 8,424 100.00% $131.02
BIG FISH $751,326 8,870 78.58% $84.70
CHICAGO $625,630 7,676 88.84% $81.50
CINDERELLA $715,196 9,261 66.11% $77.23
FIRST DATE $352,833 5,323 62.24% $66.28
JERSEY BOYS $869,462 8,468 86.20% $102.68
KINKY BOOTS $1,651,626 11,469 100.68% $144.01
MACBETH $196,181 2,718 86.53% $72.18
MATILDA $1,176,019 11,317 98.79% $103.92
MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL $1,425,902 11,691 96.97% $121.97
NEWSIES $784,099 8,903 93.91% $88.07
NO MAN’S LAND/WAITING FOR GODOT $202,787 1,986 92.54% $102.11
ONCE $703,982 6,933 81.83% $101.54
PIPPIN $904,108 7,698 97.20% $117.45
ROCK OF AGES $393,636 4,369 93.67% $90.10
ROMEO AND JULIET $363,076 4,382 41.53% $82.86
SPIDER-MAN TURN OFF THE DARK $789,538 10,427 82.34% $75.72
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,733,532 8,752 102.63% $198.07
THE GLASS MENAGERIE $734,661 6,305 101.30% $116.52
THE LION KING $1,798,361 13,573 99.80% $132.50
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $960,578 11,564 90.06% $83.07
THE SNOW GEESE $251,343 4,872 93.69% $51.59
THE WINSLOW BOY $230,058 3,836 64.80% $59.97
TWELFTH NIGHT/RICHARD III $669,342 8,143 96.85% $82.20
WICKED $1,693,555 14,318 98.94% $118.28
Totals: $23,158,295 231,769 86.55% $94.19

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

Cast and Writers of Broadway’s Big Fish Will Appear at 92nd St Y

Big Fish Broadway ShowMembers of the cast and creative team of the new Broadway musical Big Fish will gather at the 92nd Street Y for a discussion of the show on November 24 at 7:30pm. Directed by Susan Stroman (The Producers) and starring Norbert Leo Butz (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), Big Fish recently had its official opening at the Neil Simon Theatre.

Andrew Lippa, Big Fish‘s composer, will appear alongside stars Kate Baldwin and Bobby Steggert. Also joining them will be Daniel Wallace, who wrote the original novel that the musical of Big Fish is based on. Furthermore, they will be joined by Dan Jinks and Bruce Cohen, who served as producers on both Tim Burton’s 2003 film adaptation and the Broadway musical, and screenwriter John August.

Together this panel will discuss Big Fish‘s journey from book to film to stage. The evening will also include musical performances by Baldwin and Steggert, who play Sandra Bloom and Will Bloom in the Broadway show.

Big Fish is about traveling salesman Edward Bloom, a man who lives a wildly colorful life, which he recounts in thrilling stories that he shares with everyone around him. But as he is readying to be a father himself, Edward’s son Will decides to discover the truth behind his dad’s tall tales.

To get tickets (which are as low as $29) to see the Big Fish discussion at the 92nd Street Y, go to www.92y.org.

3rd Annual TEDxBroadway Scheduled for February 24, 2014

TEDxBroadwayBroadway meets the popular TED talks format with TEDxBroadway, a one-day event that will be held at the multi-stage Off-Broadway venue New World Stages in midtown New York City on Monday, February 24, 2014. This third annual TEDxBroadway will tackle the question: What’s the best Broadway can be?

TEDxBroadway takes a broad view of the Broadway community, inviting anyone affected by the Broadway business, from fans to neighborhood organizations, to take part in this day-long discussion of Broadway’s potential future.

Tony Award winning Pippin director Diane Paulus (who also serves as the American Repertory Theater’s artistic director) and actress/comic/musician Lea DeLaria (TV’s Orange is the New Black) are among the scheduled speakers who have a Broadway pedigree.

The event will also feature speakers from other sectors, such as Sree Sreenivasan, who serves as chief digital officer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; David Drake of the private equity advisory firm LDJ Capital; and Dan Gurney, who founded Concert Window and also has the distinction of being 6-time U.S. champion of the button accordion.

Past participants in TEDxBroadway have included the likes of producer Daryl Roth, actor George Takei, critic Terry Teachout, and playwright Kristoffer Diaz.

“TEDxBroadway invites everyone who has an interest in Broadway to participate in shaping its future,” stated event co-organizer Jim McCarthy. “Certainly, Broadway is most often associated with theatre but, it’s also a place where many industries and people intersect. Our goal is to present positive ideas that will benefit the entire Broadway ecosystem.”

Tickets to the TEDxBroadway conference are $100. Learn more at http://www.tedxbroadway.com.

Billy Porter, Laura Osnes To Appear on Carols for a Cure CD

Broadway's Carols for a CureThe “Broadway’s Carols for a Cure” recording has become a beloved holiday tradition for Broadway fans who like to support a good cause (Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS) while enjoying holiday-themed tunes from theater’s best. After several years of providing show tune lovers with the perfect CD to play during Christmas time, this year will be no exception, offering tunes recorded by stars from Broadway shows, both old and new.

“Broadway’s Caroles for a Cure, Volume 15″ will feature the original singing Spider-man himself, Reeve Carney, performing “A Savior is Born; Broadway stalwart Faith Prince singing “Children Go Where I Send Thee” with the cast of Annie; Cinderella‘s Laura Osnes, Santino Fontana, Rebecca Luker, and Ann Harada singing “Happy Christmas, Little Friend”; and Billy Porter and Harvey Fierstein of Kinky Boots crooning “Carol of the Boots”.

Cast members from most Broadway shows, including Jersey Boys, The Lion King, Mamma Mia!, Motown, Matilda, Newsies, Wicked, Once, First Date, Soul Doctor, and Rock of Ages, are also expected to record songs for the album. The all-stars of Northport, New York’s John W. Engeman Theater and The Broadway Boys will participate as well.

There will also be a special selection from web gossip guru and sometime actor Perez Hilton, who performed Off-Broadway in the revue NEWSical recently. Hilton will perform a number titled “Perez’s 2013 Holiday Dishlist,” which has original lyrics by George Howe and Lynn Pinto (who created Broadway’s Caroles for a Cure), with music composed by Jason Michael Webb.

“Carols for a Cure” will be available to order through Broadway Cares by calling 212-840-0770 (ext. 238) at broadwaycares.org. CDs are priced at $23 each.

Real Life Broadway Character Profiled in New Book

Mama Rose's TurnMama Rose, the brash and calculating stage mom depicted in the classic Broadway musical Gypsy, is the subject of a new book titled “Mama Rose’s Turn: The True Story of America’s Most Notorious Stage Mother” by first-time author Carolyn Quinn. The 368-page book charting the life of Rose Thompson Hovick, mother of famed performers Gypsy Rose Lee and June Havoc, is published by the University Press of Mississippi and due to be available on November 1.

“Rose Thompson Hovick, mother of June Havoc and Gypsy Rose Lee, went down in theatrical history as ‘The Stage Mother from Hell’ after her immortalization on Broadway in Gypsy: A Musical Fable,” says author Carolyn Quinn. “Yet the musical was 75 percent fictionalized by playwright Arthur Laurents and condensed for the stage. Rose’s full story is even more striking.”

The creative team behind the multiple Tony Award nominated 1959 musical Gypsy — bookwriter Arthur Laurents, lyricist Stephen Sondheim, composer Jule Styne, and director Jerome Robbins — used another book, “Gypsy: Memoirs of America’s Most Celebrated Stripper,” for inspiration, but Quinn’s new tome is sure to have fresh insights about the real-life people that inspired the characters immortalized in Gypsy.

Gypsy is widely regarded as one of the all-time great Broadway musicals, with an excellent book and a tuneful, clever score. Since the original Broadway production starring Ethel Merman, many stage actresses have coveted the role of Mama Rose. The show has been revived on Broadway four times in productions starring Angela Lansbury, Tyne Daly, Bernadette Peters, and Patti Lupone.

Carolyn Quinn will be discussing her book “Mama Rose’s Turn” on November 1 at 7pm at the Upper East Side location (150 East 86th Street, at Lexington Avenue) of Barnes & Noble in New York City.

Broadway’s First Date Auctions Items for Operation Smile

First Date Broadway ShowFans of the new Broadway musical comedy First Date can get some interesting items from the show online right now as it is in the midst of holding an auction on eBay. The auction is raising money for the charity Operation Smile, while helps children all over the world who suffer from cleft lip and cleft palate, along with other facial deformities, by providing surgeries to correct these problems.

There are a number of items up for sale in the First Date auction, including a wig, scarf, silver boots, leg warmers, sweater, Diane Von Furstenber​g dress, pink jacket, go-go boots, and a men’s troubadour hat, all directly from the First Date wardrobe department. A First Date script that has been signed by the show’s writers, as well as a CD of the musical that has been signed by its cast are also on the auction block. Two tickets to the show, plus a dinner, meet & greet, and backstage tour are also be auctioned off. One of the most unique items being offered is a personalized song written by Bryce Ryness.

A recurring gag in First Date features actor Kristoffer Cusick as “Reggie” leaving voicemail messages for his friend – a personalized message from Cusick as Reggie is also one of the items available for auction.

First Date stars Krysta Rodriguez (The Addams Family) and Zachary Levi (TV’s Chuck) as two very different types of New Yorkers who are set up on a blind date that becomes a bit of a circus as their friends, families, and dating pasts come to terrorize them as they try to get to know one another over dinner. Zachary Levi has been an ambassador for Operation Smile for some time, so this cause is near to the actor’s heart.

Go to FirstDateAuction.com to see the auction listings and to bid on an item. The First Date items that are currently up for auction are scheduled to conclude taking bids on Friday, October 25.

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 10/20/2013

After Midnight Broadway MusicalMODEST DROP IN BROADWAY REVENUE
Following substantial increases in overall Broadway ticket revenue during the previous two weeks, this week saw a fairly small drop in Broadway sales, falling from $24,614,027 to $24,038,295, a difference of about half a million.

AFTER MIDNIGHT HAS A STRONG FIRST WEEK
The new production After Midnight, a celebration of Harlem’s Golden Age of glamorous supper clubs and hot jazz music, began performances at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre this week and has gotten off to a very good start. Filling the theater to 97.57% capacity, the show came close to selling out, which is impressive given that it has had limited advertising and hasn’t had time to build word-of-mouth yet.  The cast, which includes Fantasia Barrino (American Idol, Broadway’s The Color Purple) and Dule Hill (TV’s Psych), has likely proven a big draw for many audience members, as well as the promise of great music by Duke Ellington and other jazz legends.

TWO SHAKESPEARE PLAYS START PERFORMANCES
It’s a big season for William Shakespeare on Broadway, with Romeo and Juliet already playing and a new Macbeth starring Ethan Hawke yet to come.  This week saw the beginning of productions of Richard III and Twelfth Night, which are playing in repertory at the Belasco Theatre. Featuring all-male casts (both star Mark Rylance, who has impressed Broadway in plays such as Boeing Boeing and Jerusalem), live music on period instruments, and stage lighting primarily by candles, these productions aim to bring the authentic ambiance of Shakespeare’s stage to the modern era.  They had extremely good attendance in their first week of previews (97.10% capacity), with a decent average paid admission of $76.43.

EIGHT BROADWAY SHOWS IN MILLIONAIRES CLUB
A total of eight Broadway shows made over one million dollars this week. The top three — The Lion King, The Book of Mormon, and Wicked, respectively — are the usual front-runners.  The three behind them are all hits from last season, Kinky Boots, Motown, and Matilda.  After that is Betrayal, the only production from this season that earned over a million this week.  In eighth place, just barely making it into the “club” at $1,044,707, is Broadway’s longest-running musical, The Phantom of the Opera.

The following are the Broadway ticket sales numbers from the week ending October 20, 2013:

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis

Show GrossGross Total Attn %Cap AvgPdAdm
A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN $397,767 4,980 92.36% $79.87
A TIME TO KILL $250,779 5,659 88.20% $44.32
AFTER MIDNIGHT $235,823 2,968 97.57% $79.46
ANNIE $708,039 9,177 80.73% $77.15
BETRAYAL $1,250,565 8,424 100.00% $148.45
BIG FISH $841,498 9,700 85.93% $86.75
CHICAGO $648,594 7,661 88.67% $84.66
CINDERELLA $789,856 9,758 69.66% $80.94
FIRST DATE $411,385 6,264 73.25% $65.67
JERSEY BOYS $967,800 9,111 92.74% $106.22
KINKY BOOTS $1,669,794 11,482 100.79% $145.43
MAMMA MIA! $894,941 10,063 83.97% $88.93
MATILDA $1,278,480 10,773 94.04% $118.67
MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL $1,464,583 12,133 100.64% $120.71
NEWSIES $803,577 9,042 95.38% $88.87
ONCE $745,326 7,216 85.17% $103.29
PIPPIN $957,303 7,930 100.13% $120.72
ROCK OF AGES $406,072 4,464 95.71% $90.97
ROMEO AND JULIET $447,953 5,619 53.25% $79.72
SPIDER-MAN TURN OFF THE DARK $856,976 10,701 84.50% $80.08
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,767,297 8,752 102.63% $201.93
THE GLASS MENAGERIE $722,255 6,299 101.21% $114.66
THE LION KING $1,804,890 13,458 98.96% $134.11
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $1,044,707 11,915 92.80% $87.68
THE SNOW GEESE $280,700 4,886 93.96% $57.45
THE WINSLOW BOY $203,093 4,862 82.13% $41.77
TWELFTH NIGHT/RICHARD III $468,429 6,129 97.19% $76.43
WICKED $1,719,816 14,256 98.51% $120.64
Totals: $24,038,295 233,682 90.36% $97.34

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

Actor Jeff Daniels To Play 54 Below

Jeff DanielsThough he is better known as a television and film actor, Jeff Daniels (currently starring in HBO’s series The Newsroom) will soon be taking the stage at 54 Below, the favored venue for New York City theater performers who want to perform solo shows. Daniels will perform six shows there, from January 2-4, 2014.

During his concert engagement, Daniels will present several of his own original songs. Highlighting the actor’s humorous side, the tunes feature such titles as “You Can Drink An Ugly Girl Pretty” and “If William Shatner Can, I Can Too”.

Jeff Daniels’ breakout roles came in the early 1980s in movies such as Terms of Endearment and The Purple Rose of Cairo, going on to gain greater recognition in Hearburn and Something Wild. Other film credits include Gettysburg, Speed, Pleasantville, The Squid and the Whale, State of Play, and Looper. He is also scheduled to star in a sequel to the silly comedy favorite Dumb & Dumber in 2014.

More recently, Jeff Daniels has gained acclaim for his starring role as veteran newsman Will McAvoy in Aaron Sorkin’s HBO drama The Newsroom. He recently took home an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his work in The Newsroom.

While Daniels has distinguished himself in movies and TV over the years, he has always kept one foot in the theater. He studied drama in college and began his career on the New York stage in the late ’70s. Daniels founded the Purple Rose Theatre Company in 1991 in his hometown of Chelsea, Michigan, and he has authored numerous plays for the company.

Jeff Daniels’ stage work has included five Broadway productions, including Fifth of July, The Golden Age, and Redwood Curtain. His most recent appearance on Broadway was in the popular 2009 play God of Carnage.

Tickets for the Jeff Daniels concert at 54 Below (254 West 54th Street) are priced in the $40-$50 range, plus there is a $25 minimum for food and drinks. For further ticketing and show information, visit 54Below.com.

Ice Skater Elvis Stojko Coming to Broadway

Elvis StojkoThe Tony Award winning, long-running Broadway musical revival Chicago has been known (and sometimes mocked) for many years for its enthusiastic use of stunt-casting. Bringing in a wide array of performers — from pop stars to TV personalities to has-been celebrities — to play some of the musical’s key roles has become a hallmark of the production.

Now Chicago looks to the world of competitive figure skating to bring in its latest unexpected star, Elvis Stojko. Stojko will take on the part of “razzle dazzle” lawyer Billy Flynn starting March 17, 2014. However, he is only scheduled to do a total of eight shows, performing until March 23.

Elvis Stojko came to prominence as an ice skater in the 1990s, when he earned three world championships and two silver medals in the winter Olympics. Besides skating, Stojko has also taken guest roles in television and film and has even released a CD.

“People think of me as only a skater,” stated Stojko. “But what they don’t know is that I love musicals. Now I finally have the chance to play a great role in one of the greatest musicals of all times.”

Past instances of stunt-casting in Chicago have been many and varied. Usher, Jerry Springer, Brooke Shields, Huey Lewis, Patrick Swayze, Billy Ray Cyrus, Alan Thicke, Melanie Griffith, Ashlee Simpson, Wendy Williams, Marilu Henner, George Hamilton, Christie Brinkley, Kara DioGuardi, and Sofía Vergara are just a few of the people who have been tapped to feature in Chicago over the years, with many of them making their Broadway or stage debuts in the production.

Billy Flynn, the part that Elvis Stojko will be playing, is the role most often filled by male stars, though on some occasions it’s Amos Hart. For female performers with limited stage experience (but who can still belt a song), Matron Mama Morton is a common option. But even the key dancing roles of Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly are sometimes filled by stunt-casted performers.

Chicago the musical, which has been playing on Broadway for more than 15 years, performs at the Ambassador Theatre (219 West 49th Street) in New York City. For tickets and other information about the show, go to chicagothemusical.com.