NYC’s Workshop Theater Hosts Stop Gun Violence Now Theater Festival

Stop Gun Violence NowIn honor of the one-year anniversary of the tragic school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, New York City’s own Off-Off-Broaday Workshop Theater (312 West 36th Street) will present the Stop Gun Violence NOW Theater Festival from December 12-15.

The festival will feature a number of works, including a one-person documentary piece based on interviews of people in Littleton, Colorado following the Columbine shooting; a showcase of writings and music created by people from Newtown; a documentary drama from 10 young women reflecting on their experience with gun violence in NYC; a fictional short play about a school shooting, and more.

Panel discussions on preventing gun violence and using theater and political action to make change will also be a part of the festival, as well as a special tribute to the Newtown victims and their families. Proceeds from the festival will go to several local gun control initiatives. Learn more at

Broadway Shows and Stars Featured in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Macy's Thanksgiving Day ParadeAs usual, the hugely popular Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will take time to spotlight one of New York City’s greatest assets:  Broadway. Kristin Chenoweth and Megan Hilty are among the Broadway performers scheduled to participate in the festivities, as are theatrical troupes Big Apple Circus and Cirque du Soleil.

The Broadway cast of the hit musical revival Pippin will perform both “Magic To Do” and “Corner of the Sky” during the parade. Matilda, Motown the Musical, and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular’s Rockettes are also scheduled to perform. There will also be an appearance by Carrie Underwood, who is starring as Maria in the upcoming live NBC broadcast of the Rodgers & Hammerstein classic The Sound of Music.

The 87th Annaul Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade airs live on NBC from 9:00am until 12:00pm on Thanksgiving Day.

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 11/24/2013

The (hopefully) lucrative Thanksgiving holiday can’t come fast enough this year, as Broadway has seen another dive in ticket sales this week. Overall Broadway revenue was down by well over one million dollars, with sales falling from $24,670,329 down to this week’s $23,426,994.

The producers of Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark announced this week that the comic book hero musical would shutter in January, and a look at the numbers illustrates why. The cavernous Foxwoods Theatre was filled to 75.47% capacity this week, with the average paid admission at $80.23 per ticket. While this might not be so bad for your average Broadway show, Spider-man had a notoriously pricey multi-millionaire investment, coupled with high weekly running costs, meaning that it can’t afford to continue running with such modest sales numbers.

The seemingly never-ending wrestling match between Wicked, The Lion King, and The Book of Mormon for the #1 place on the Broadway grosses chart continued this week, but with an unexpected winner. This time, The Book of Mormon, which usually has to settle for 3rd place, or 2nd at best, actually won the battle and hit the top spot with $1,677,524.

The following are the Broadway ticket sales numbers from the week ending November 24, 2013:
Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis

Show GrossGross Total Attn %Cap AvgPdAdm
700 SUNDAYS $1,117,307 7,701 87.37% $145.09
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER $414,591 5,403 79.55% $76.73
A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN $359,718 3,987 65.49% $90.22
AFTER MIDNIGHT $662,568 7,470 90.13% $88.70
ANNIE $730,228 8,926 78.52% $81.81
BEAUTIFUL $507,431 4,359 84.97% $116.41
BETRAYAL $1,240,802 8,424 100.00% $147.29
BIG FISH $453,940 7,223 63.99% $62.85
CHICAGO $397,564 4,992 57.78% $79.64
CINDERELLA $679,252 8,282 59.12% $82.02
FIRST DATE $279,966 4,576 53.51% $61.18
JERSEY BOYS $685,562 6,744 68.65% $101.66
KINKY BOOTS $1,567,701 11,278 99.00% $139.01
MACBETH $356,754 6,421 76.66% $55.56
MAMMA MIA! $476,789 5,887 63.11% $80.99
MATILDA $1,018,332 10,077 87.96% $101.06
MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL $1,255,847 10,525 87.30% $119.32
NEWSIES $688,579 7,908 83.42% $87.07
NO MAN’S LAND/WAITING FOR GODOT $495,083 7,836 91.29% $63.18
ONCE $589,705 6,043 71.33% $97.58
PIPPIN $742,778 6,798 85.83% $109.26
ROCK OF AGES $324,010 3,799 81.45% $85.29
ROMEO AND JULIET $312,045 4,000 37.91% $78.01
SPIDER-MAN TURN OFF THE DARK $766,811 9,558 75.47% $80.23
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,677,524 8,752 102.63% $191.67
THE GLASS MENAGERIE $561,563 4,961 79.71% $113.20
THE LION KING $1,560,773 12,946 95.19% $120.56
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $702,263 8,437 65.71% $83.24
THE SNOW GEESE $181,489 3,848 74.00% $47.16
THE WINSLOW BOY $271,373 4,299 72.62% $63.12
TWELFTH NIGHT/RICHARD III $715,799 8,484 100.90% $84.37
WICKED $1,632,849 13,449 92.93% $121.41
Totals: $23,426,994 233,393 78.55% $95.47

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

Waiting For Godot and No Man’s Land Officially Open on Broadway

No Man's LandThe double bill of Samuel Beckett’s existential classic Waiting for Godot and the lesser-known Harold Pinter play No Man’s Land have now officially opened at Broadway’s Cort Theatre. The limited run productions are scheduled to play in repertory until March 2, 2014.

The plays have already garnered a lot of attention thanks to their leading men, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart. The two are not only known to film fans for their work together in the X-Men movies, but each has also starred in their own famous franchises, with McKellen playing Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies, and Stewart having starred as Captain Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation on television.

Of course both Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen also happen to be classically trained actors with extensive stage experience. McKellen hasn’t been seen on Broadway since Dance of Death in the 2001-2002 season, but Stewart was most recently on Broadway in 2010 in the comedy A Life in the Theatre.

Broadway Schedule Changes for Thanksgiving Week

The Phantom of the OperaMajor holidays usually mean significant changes to the Broadway schedule, and that includes Thanksgiving. With families in town and visitors coming to NYC for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, it is good to know what changes to expect in the event that you want to catch a Broadway show during this holiday time.

The main change is that almost all Broadway shows have canceled their performances on Thanksgiving Thursday. The five shows that will be open that evening (all for 8pm performances) are Beautiful, Chicago, The Phantom of the Opera, Pippin, and The Winslow Boy.

To make up for the Thanksgiving closures, most Broadway musicals and plays are adding a matinee performance for the Friday following Thanksgiving Day. 700 Sundays, Mamma Mia, Phantom, Pippin, Richard III, The Snow Geese, Twelfth Night, Waiting for Godot, and The Winslow Boy are the only exceptions.

To see the complete Thanksgiving Week Broadway performance schedule, click here.

Broadway Production of Newsies to Launch Tour in 2014

Newsies Broadway MusicalSince opening on Broadway over a year and a half ago, Disney’s Broadway musical version of its cult hit movie Newsies has earned many Tony Award nominations, earned back its initial investment, and become a family favorite on the Great White Way. Now, the celebrated production is making plans to hit the road for its North American tour.

The Newsies Broadway touring production is set to launch in October of 2014 in Schenectady, New York. In 2014 and 2015, the tour is scheduled to hit 25 cities, including Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Louisville, Miami, Nashville, Toronto, Tucson, Washington D.C., and many places in between.

“The enthusiasm from North American audiences and theatres for a Newsies tour has been palpable,” stated Thomas Schumacher of Disney Theatrical Productions, “proving that the affection for this title is deeper and more widespread than even we imagined.”

To find out more about the tour stops and forthcoming announcements regarding dates, visit

Spider-Man To Close Broadway Production January 4 2014

Spiderman Turn Off the Dark Broadway ShowThe saga of Spider-man on Broadway is coming to an end, as producers have announced that the multi-millionaire dollar musical will be concluding its Broadway run on January 4, 2014. Though the controversial show will likely get a financial boost during the holidays (as do many Broadway musicals), it won’t come close to making back its enormous investment by closing.

With direction by Julie Taymor (The Lion King) and a score by U2’s Bono and The Edge, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark was initially expected to be a big hit. But Spider-Man experienced numerous troubles and delays during its development, going on to have a record-length preview period on Broadway, resulting in a significant overhaul of the show that included replacing both director Taymor and the original bookwriter.

In addition to creative troubles and an outrageous price tag, Spider-Man also made headlines for a series of injuries to its actors. Featuring incredible aerial stunts that include the actors flying over the audience in fast-paced fight sequences, Spider-Man took its cast to the limits of what had previously been seen in Broadway musicals in terms of acrobatics.

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, which plays at the large Foxwoods Theatre, made money for much of its three-year run, offering families the rare Broadway show that actively appealed to young male audiences. But ticket sales dipped in recent months. Some projected that the show would need to run at a profit for as many as 10 years before it could earn back its $75 million investment, meaning that the musical simply couldn’t afford to run at a loss.

Producers already have the next step for Spider-Man planned, though. They will be taking a shorter version of the show to Las Vegas, where its comic book reputation, striking visuals, and big stunts are likely to draw audiences looking for a big-budget alternative to the Vegas Strip’s many Cirque du Soleil shows.

Addams Family Proceeds To Go To Philippine Disaster Relief

The Addams FamilyJust a few days after Typhoon Haiyan devastated parts of the Philippines, a production of the Broadway musical The Addams Family opened for a two-week run at the Meralco Theater in Manila. To help in the relief efforts, Addams Family writers Rick Elice, Marshall Brickman, and Andrew Lippa, as well as the show’s licensing agent Theatrical Rights Worldwide (TRW), are donating their production royalties to the Red Cross.

“Once in a while in this business we have an opportunity to reach out and help,” stated Sean Cercone, the director of professional and international licensing at TRW, “and this is a time when we can see that borders and oceans may separate us, but this is one world. We’re doing what we can.”

Philippine actor Arnell Ignacio, who plays Gomez in The Addams Family, stated, “We are truly touched by the generosity of the writers of The Addams Family and Theatrical Rights Worldwide. It is heartwarming to see the world extend us a helping hand as we go through this gargantuan test to our nation.

The Addams Family plays through December 1. More information is available at

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 11/17/2013

Il Divo

Il Divo

While Broadway experienced a significant jump in overall revenue the previous week, the most recent numbers show that weekly ticket sales have dropped by nearly a million, falling from $25,659,018 to $24,670,329.

The Italian classical/pop quartet Il Divo, accompanied by Broadway and R&B artist Heather Headley, began a Broadway concert engagement this past week with Il Divo: A Musical Affair. If the grosses are any indication, Broadway audiences have been thoroughly charmed by the group, filling the theater to 95.54% capacity and paying the hefty average admission price of $141.57 per ticket.

It was a time to close for A Time to Kill this past Sunday, as the dramatic play (based on the John Grisham novel of the same name) ended its open run after a short and unprofitable time on Broadway. Though the theater was more than 3/4 full during the show’s final week, the average paid admission was rather low at just $46.48.

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

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis

Show GrossGross Total Attn %Cap AvgPdAdm
700 SUNDAYS $1,067,922 8,214 93.19% $130.01
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER $281,423 5,614 82.66% $50.13
A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN $415,279 5,125 84.18% $81.03
A TIME TO KILL $227,390 4,892 76.25% $46.48
AFTER MIDNIGHT $635,690 7,156 86.34% $88.83
ANNIE $619,968 7,723 67.94% $80.28
BETRAYAL $1,243,485 8,424 100.00% $147.61
BIG FISH $465,471 7,942 70.36% $58.61
CHICAGO $447,810 5,561 64.36% $80.53
CINDERELLA $669,091 8,397 59.94% $79.68
FIRST DATE $307,911 4,854 56.76% $63.43
IL DIVO – A MUSICAL AFFAIR $1,308,223 9,241 95.54% $141.57
JERSEY BOYS $747,961 7,239 73.69% $103.32
KINKY BOOTS $1,617,270 11,329 99.45% $142.75
MACBETH $386,505 6,607 78.88% $58.50
MAMMA MIA! $468,848 5,604 60.08% $83.66
MATILDA $1,062,604 10,279 89.73% $103.38
MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL $1,306,070 10,978 91.06% $118.97
NEWSIES $670,758 7,741 81.66% $86.65
NO MAN’S LAND/WAITING FOR GODOT $627,102 8,215 95.70% $76.34
ONCE $634,402 6,302 74.39% $100.67
PIPPIN $764,960 6,997 88.35% $109.33
ROCK OF AGES $334,693 3,938 84.43% $84.99
ROMEO AND JULIET $323,734 4,102 38.87% $78.92
SPIDER-MAN TURN OFF THE DARK $742,595 9,540 75.33% $77.84
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,695,855 8,752 102.63% $193.77
THE GLASS MENAGERIE $626,521 5,313 85.36% $117.92
THE LION KING $1,437,598 12,064 88.71% $119.16
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $731,704 9,048 70.47% $80.87
THE SNOW GEESE $235,648 3,807 73.21% $61.90
THE WINSLOW BOY $291,311 4,323 73.02% $67.39
TWELFTH NIGHT/RICHARD III $686,649 8,238 97.98% $83.35
WICKED $1,587,882 13,681 94.53% $116.06
Totals: $24,670,329 247,240 80.46% $94.36

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

A Time To Kill Closes on Broadway Today

A Time to Kill Broadway ShowOne of the early casualties of the 2013-14 Broadway season, A Time To Kill concludes its run at the John Golden Theatre today. Having begun preview performances on September 28, the production only survived about a month and a half on Broadway before succumbing to poor ticket sales.

A Time To Kill was the first of best-selling author John Grisham’s novels to be adapted for the stage. The Broadway production starred Sebastian Arcelus, Patrick Page, Tom Skerritt, Tonya Pinkins, Ashley Williams, John Douglas Thompson, and Fred Dalton Thompson.

“We are enormously proud to have brought John Grisham’s A Time to Kill to Broadway with an incredible creative team and an extraordinary ensemble of actors,” stated producers Eva Price and Daryl Roth. “We would like to thank Rupert Holmes, Ethan McSweeny, and the entire company of our production for—as we all witnessed night after night—thrilling our audiences with a compelling, essential story about justice and morality.”