Ewan McGregor To Make Debut on Broadway Next Year

Ewan McGregorA respected actor long known for his film work, Ewan McGregor will finally appear on the Broadway stage next year in a Roundabout Theatre Company revival of Tom Stoppard’s drama The Real Thing. Sam Gold will direct, but the rest of the cast and creative team has yet to be announced.

The Real Thing is scheduled to begin preview performances at the American Airlines Theatre on October 2, 2014, with an opening scheduled for October 30. The limited-run production will play through January 4, 2015.

Though this will mark Ewan McGregor’s Broadway debut, he has been seen onstage in London. McGregor was Iago in a 2008 Donmar Warehouse production of Shakespeare’s Othello, and he has even starred in the musical Guys and Dolls. The actor’s extensive film credits include Trainspotting, Moulin Rouge!, Star Wars, and the upcoming movie adaptation of the Broadway play August: Osage County.

Julie Taymor Appears at the 92nd Street Y November 17

Julie TaymorIn “From Stage to Screen and Back Again,” an event at the 92nd Street Y, theatrical visionary and Broadway director/designer Julie Taymor will discuss her work with actor Harry Lennix (who was in Taymor’s 1999 movie Titus).

Tony Award winner Julie Taymor is of course best known for her extraordinary work in Disney’s stage adaptation of The Lion King, which has remained one of Broadway’s biggest hits for 15 years. However, she became very controversial during the development and preview period of the multi-million dollar Broadway production of Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark. Currently, she is directing a new production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Theatre for a New Audience in Brooklyn.

Julie Taymor will be at the 92nd Street Y on November 17 at 7:30pm. Tickets start at $29 and can be purchased by calling 212-415-5500 or by visiting www.92y.org.

Broadway’s Audra McDonald Named Musician of the Year

Audra McDonaldThe performing arts publication Musical America has named multiple Tony Award winning actress and singer Audra McDonald as their Musician of the Year. McDonald will formally receive the honor in an awards ceremony being held at Lincoln Center on December 17.

Audra McDonald has starred on Broadway in numerous productions, including Porgy and Bess, Ragtime, 110 in the Shade, Marie Christine, and Carousel. Although she is particularly well-known as a musical theater performer, she has also appeared in plays such as A Raisin in the Sun and Master Class.

Through the television show Private Practice, Audra McDonald is also known to a broader audience. She has recorded a number of solo albums and his currently promoting her latest, Go Back Home, with a national tour. She will next be seen on TV playing the Mother Abbess in NBC’s upcoming live broadcast of The Sound of Music.

Disney To Bring The Princess Bride To The Stage

The Princess BrideThe beloved William Goldman novel The Princess Bride, even more widely known and loved as a 1987 movie by Rob Reiner, is soon to become a stage production. Disney is working on developing a theatrical version of the property, though it is yet uncertain as to whether or not it will be a musical.

A romantic adventure tale about a headstrong young woman named Buttercup and the farmboy-turned-pirate who she loves, The Princess Bride film featured a talented cast including Robin Wright, Cary Elwes, Christopher Guest, and several people who are no strangers to Broadway and the New York stage: Mandy Patinkin, Billy Crystal (who just began his one-man show 700 Sundays on Broadway), and Wallace Shawn (starring in his own play Off-Broadway currently).

The author of The Princess Bride and the film’s screenwriter, William Goldman, also has a Broadway connection, having written the theater classic The Season, which offered a comprehensive examination of the 1967-68 season on Broadway. Goldman previously worked with Broadway composer/lyricist Adam Guettel (The Light in the Piazza) on an adaptation of The Princess Bride, but the project was scrapped. There is no word yet on a new creative team.

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 11/10/2013

Billy Crystal 700 SundaysBIG JUMP IN BROADWAY TICKET SALES
After a few weeks of falling sales, Broadway ticket sales made a big leap this week. Overall revenue swelled by more than $3 million, increasing from last week’s $22,476,709 to $25,659,018. This change is a strong sign that Broadway is officially entering its lucrative holiday season.

BILLY CRYSTAL PLAYS 700 SUNDAYS
Actor Billy Crystal has arrived on Broadway with a bang, starting preview performance of 700 Sundays at the Imperial Theatre this week. This return engagement of Crystal’s one-man Broadway show filled its theater to 87.20% capacity, selling tickets at an impressive average ticket price of $149.29, which already earned 700 Sundays entry into the Millionaire’s Club (at a weekly total of $1,147,436).

THE BOOK OF MORMON BEATS LION KING
Like last week, Wicked made the top of the Broadway grosses chart, taking in $1,864,819. However, perhaps the more notable fact was that The Book of Mormon came in second (at $1,767,155) ahead of third place finisher The Lion King ($1,705,540), which is an uncommon occurrence given the much smaller size of The Book of Mormon‘s theater and the enduring popularity of The Lion King.

The following are the Broadway ticket sales numbers from the week ending November 10, 2013:

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis

Show GrossGross Total Attn %Cap AvgPdAdm
700 SUNDAYS $1,147,436 7,686 87.20% $149.29
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER $354,837 5,865 86.35% $60.50
A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN $438,961 5,107 83.89% $85.95
A TIME TO KILL $230,794 3,991 62.20% $57.83
AFTER MIDNIGHT $585,515 7,076 85.38% $82.75
ANNIE $838,833 10,569 92.97% $79.37
BETRAYAL $1,245,258 8,424 100.00% $147.82
BIG FISH $600,339 7,595 67.28% $79.04
CHICAGO $575,717 7,122 82.43% $80.84
CINDERELLA $858,663 10,177 72.65% $84.37
FIRST DATE $399,240 6,002 70.18% $66.52
JERSEY BOYS $843,189 7,933 80.75% $106.29
KINKY BOOTS $1,671,806 11,433 100.36% $146.23
MACBETH $387,834 6,099 72.82% $63.59
MAMMA MIA! $645,791 7,715 82.71% $83.71
MATILDA $1,157,911 10,956 95.64% $105.69
MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL $1,333,883 11,085 91.95% $120.33
NEWSIES $749,821 8,110 85.55% $92.46
NO MAN’S LAND/WAITING FOR GODOT $635,850 7,118 82.92% $89.33
ONCE $725,833 7,225 85.28% $100.46
PIPPIN $846,955 7,270 91.79% $116.50
ROCK OF AGES $406,067 4,372 93.74% $92.88
ROMEO AND JULIET $343,802 4,480 42.46% $76.74
SPIDER-MAN TURN OFF THE DARK $810,162 10,036 79.25% $80.73
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,767,155 8,752 102.63% $201.91
THE GLASS MENAGERIE $674,956 5,575 89.57% $121.07
THE LION KING $1,705,540 13,398 98.51% $127.30
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $790,698 9,869 76.86% $80.12
THE SNOW GEESE $264,903 4,058 78.04% $65.28
THE WINSLOW BOY $264,605 3,922 66.25% $67.47
TWELFTH NIGHT/RICHARD III $491,847 8,263 98.28% $59.52
WICKED $1,864,819 15,175 99.94% $122.89
Totals: $25,659,018 252,458 83.93% $96.71

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

Broadway and TV Actor Len Cariou To Perform at 54 Below

Len CariouTelevision audiences will recognize Len Cariou for his role on the hit TV show Blue Bloods, but Broadway fans have long appreciated the veteran actor for his Broadway work. Soon Cariou will be seen on the stage at 54 Below (254 West 54th Street) performing beloved Gershwin songs.

Len Cariou will sing numbers by George and Ira Gershwin on December 11 at 7pm, December 13 at 8pm, and December 14 at 8pm. Tickets are $35 to $45, plus a $25 food/beverage minimum. More information can be found at www.54Below.com.

A Tony Award winner for his turn in the original Broadway production of the Stephen Sondheim/Hugh Wheeler musical Sweeney Todd, Len Cariou has also appeared on Broadway in the musicals Applause and A Little Night Music, as well as plays such as Proof and The Dinner Party.

Concert Version of Broadway Musical Titanic Scheduled for 2014

TitanicManhattan Concert Productions will present an elaborate concert staging of the 1997 Tony Award winning Broadway musical Titanic on February 17, 2014 at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall. The concert will be directed by actor Don Stephenson (currently on Broadway in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder), who appeared as Charles Clarke and later as Harold Bride in the original Broadway cast of the show.

Liza Gennaro will provide choreography for the concert staging, while Titanic‘s original Broadway musical director and conductor Kevin Stites will repeat his role as music director. The concert will also feature Shawn Sagady’s projection designs, lighting from Stephen Terry, and a set design by Narelle Sissons.

Casting has yet to be announced, but Manhattan Concert Productions has already stated that, like their previous concert version of Ragtime, this staging will also have a star-filled cast and a huge ensemble featuring more than 100 singers.

Titanic tells the story of the famously “unsinkable” ship’s first and final tragic voyage from the points of view of the ship’s crew and passengers from 1st, 2nd, and 3rd class. The musical has a score by Maury Yeston and a book by Peter Stone, both of whom won Tony Awards for their work.

Tickets to the Titanic concert start at $50. To order, call 212-721-6500 or go to www.lincolncenter.org.

Drama League To Honor Broadway Actor Neil Patrick Harris

Neil Patrick HarrisThe Drama League will honor Emmy Award winning performer Neil Patrick Harris at the 30th Annual Musical Celebration of Broadway, a black tie event being held at the Pierre Hotel on February 3, 2014. Harris joins a distinguished group of former honorees, including Andrew Lloyd Webber, Kristin Chenoweth, Liza Minnelli, Angela Lansbury, Patti Lupone, Audra McDonald, Rosie O’Donnell, and others.

“We are overjoyed to add Neil Patrick Harris to the legendary roster of artists who have been honored at the Musical Celebration of Broadway during the last thirty years,” stated Gabriel Shanks, executive director of the Drama League.

Selections from Neil Patrick Harris’s career on Broadway, film, and TV will be featured during the celebration’s entertainment, which will be directed by Michael Mayer and Johanna McKeon. Several stars from both Broadway and Hollywood will perform.

Neil Patrick Harris has been seen on Broadway in the revivals of the musicals Cabaret and Assassins, and in the play Proof. His next appearance on Broadway will be in the upcoming production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, set to open in April 2014.

Gypsy of the Year Competition to Play Minskoff Theatre December 9-10

Gypsy of the YearBroadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA) hosts a number of popular Broadway-related benefit events throughout the year, and the Annual Gypsy of the Year competition is one of the most loved. This year’s Gypsy of the Year will be held at the Minskoff Theatre, home to the long-running Disney musical The Lion King, on December 9 at 4:30pm and at December 10 at 2:00pm.

Now in its 25th year, Gypsy of the Year puts a spotlight on Broadway’s many ensemble dancers and singers, dedicated and talented performers — sometimes called “gypsies” — who don’t always get the glory but whose hard work is crucial to the vitality of Broadway. Over 200 of these Broadway gypsies will do original sketches, along with song and dance numbers, during the event.

The Gypsy of the Year performances in December will cap off a six-week fundraising push by the companies of Broadway, Off-Broadway, and touring shows as they try to raise money for BC/EFA. Since its inception, Gypsy of the Year has raised more than $50 million for charity. The company that raises the most funds will be recognized, as will the best performance.

You can purchase tickets to be in the audience for Gypsy of the Year by calling 212-840-0770 (ext. 268) or by visiting www.broadwaycares.org. Tickets range from $20-$110, with VIP tickets in the $200-$350 range.

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 11/3/2013

Mamma MiaBROADWAY SALES CONTINUE TO FALL
Whether it was the unseasonably warm weather in New York City or just the calm before the holiday storm that has kept New Yorkers away from Broadway theaters, the total revenue for Broadway dropped again this past week, falling from $23,158,295 down to $22,476,709.

MAMMA MIA! HAS A GOOD FIRST WEEKEND IN NEW THEATER
After a two-week shut down so that it could move from its original home, the Winter Garden Theater, to the Broadhurst Theater, Mamma Mia! re-opened on November 2 for its first weekend in its new home. The Broadhurst was filled to 70.90% capacity, with the show’s average paid admission at $86.60. Mamma Mia‘s two-day total was $286,371, which actually put it ahead of several Broadway shows’ earnings for the entire week.

WICKED COMES OUT ON TOP
Perhaps because of the hoopla regarding its 10th anniversary celebration in October, Wicked managed to get the top spot in Broadway ticket sales this week (The Lion King most often seems to reside in the #1 spot). The Book of Mormon and The Lion King were neck and neck for 2nd place at $1,699,199 and $1,699,647 in sales, respectively, with the mighty Lion King just narrowly winning the #2 spot.

The following are the Broadway ticket numbers from the week ending November 3, 2013:

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis

Show GrossGross Total Attn %Cap AvgPdAdm
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER $308,207 5,482 80.71% $56.22
A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN $388,662 4,716 77.46% $82.41
A TIME TO KILL $215,431 3,554 55.39% $60.62
AFTER MIDNIGHT $371,312 7,986 98.45% $46.50
ANNIE $534,060 7,297 64.19% $73.19
BETRAYAL $1,277,952 8,424 100.00% $151.70
BIG FISH $647,165 7,781 68.93% $83.17
CHICAGO $536,601 6,585 76.22% $81.49
CINDERELLA $682,960 8,738 62.38% $78.16
FIRST DATE $281,538 4,643 54.29% $60.64
JERSEY BOYS $754,241 7,528 76.63% $100.19
KINKY BOOTS $1,625,209 11,442 100.44% $142.04
MACBETH $389,377 6,082 72.61% $64.02
MAMMA MIA! $286,371 3,307 70.90% $86.60
MATILDA $1,084,210 10,763 93.95% $100.73
MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL $1,288,507 10,706 88.80% $120.35
NEWSIES $624,830 7,925 83.60% $78.84
NO MAN’S LAND/WAITING FOR GODOT $557,098 6,727 89.56% $82.82
ONCE $678,136 7,072 83.47% $95.89
PIPPIN $779,078 7,284 91.97% $106.96
ROCK OF AGES $355,245 3,951 84.71% $89.91
ROMEO AND JULIET $331,348 4,847 45.93% $68.36
SPIDER-MAN TURN OFF THE DARK $801,830 10,019 79.11% $80.03
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,699,199 8,752 102.63% $194.15
THE GLASS MENAGERIE $633,519 5,445 87.48% $116.35
THE LION KING $1,699,647 12,988 95.50% $130.86
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $836,302 10,312 80.31% $81.10
THE SNOW GEESE $258,152 4,116 79.15% $62.72
THE WINSLOW BOY $223,088 3,472 58.65% $64.25
TWELFTH NIGHT/RICHARD III $590,481 7,988 95.00% $73.92
WICKED $1,736,957 14,472 100.00% $120.02
Totals: $22,476,709 230,404 80.60% $91.43

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