King Kong to Take the Foxwoods Following Spider-Man’s Closure

King KongIt seems that the Foxwoods Theatre on 42nd Street can’t get enough of multi-millionaire-dollar mega-musicals. After it was announced that the infamous spectacle Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark would be closing (the superhero musical shuttered on January 4), it became known that another well-known figure — King Kong — wanted to move in.

The new musical King Kong, which had its premiere in Melbourne, Australia, will come to Broadway late this year, with an opening scheduled for December 12, 2014. Written by Craig Lucas and Marius de Vries, King Kong brings the story of a gigantic silverback who gets loose in the city to the Broadway stage.

And if Spider-man, with its high-flying theatrics, seemed like a stage spectacle, King Kong is perhaps even more epic. The show features a cast of 49, a 76-person crew, and one enormous animatronic gorilla. The Foxwoods Theatre is one of the few Broadway theaters that is actually large enough to take on this colossal production.

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 2/9/2014

Following a depressing Super Bowl Week low-point in overall Broadway revenue last week, ticket sales on the Great White Way have risen by more than a million dollars, increasing from $16,714,694 to $17,841,889. While the bump up is encouraing, New York City is still mired in the midst of a very cold, snowy winter, so it is too soon to get optimistic that Broadway sales will continue to rise.

At 74.01% theater capacity, the last night of A Night with Janis Joplin on Broadway wasn’t a standing-room only crowd, but the rollicking musical revue still went out with decent sales in its last week, bringing in $78.63 average paid admission. Though A Night with Janis Joplin is no longer on Broadway, producers have already announced their intention to find another venue for the rockin’, blues-infused musical.

The following are the Broadway ticket sales numbers for the week ending February 9, 2014:

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis

Show GrossGross Total Attn %Cap AvgPdAdm
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER $452,612 5,498 75.77% $82.32
A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN $342,185 4,352 74.01% $78.63
AFTER MIDNIGHT $647,925 7,426 89.60% $87.25
BEAUTIFUL $832,495 7,460 90.89% $111.59
BRONX BOMBERS $134,027 4,261 69.35% $31.45
CHICAGO $394,400 5,148 59.58% $76.61
CINDERELLA $633,396 7,937 56.66% $79.80
JERSEY BOYS $618,954 6,485 66.01% $95.44
KINKY BOOTS $1,284,663 10,607 93.11% $121.11
MACHINAL $215,339 3,583 61.61% $60.10
MAMMA MIA! $419,553 5,732 61.45% $73.19
MATILDA $926,219 10,243 89.41% $90.42
MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL $1,005,080 9,864 81.82% $101.89
NEWSIES $602,699 7,697 81.19% $78.30
NO MAN’S LAND/WAITING FOR GODOT $551,720 6,284 73.21% $87.80
ONCE $587,345 6,489 76.59% $90.51
OUTSIDE MULLINGAR $331,915 4,842 93.12% $68.55
PIPPIN $624,252 6,398 80.78% $97.57
ROCK OF AGES $321,202 3,842 82.38% $83.60
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,608,197 8,752 102.63% $183.75
THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY $377,124 5,585 68.51% $67.52
THE GLASS MENAGERIE $466,556 5,017 80.61% $92.99
THE LION KING $1,397,103 13,313 97.89% $104.94
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $659,176 9,029 70.32% $73.01
TWELFTH NIGHT/RICHARD III $914,033 8,585 102.11% $106.47
WICKED $1,493,721 13,992 96.68% $106.76
Totals: $17,841,889 188,421 79.82% $89.68

*Broadway Grosses courtesy of The Broadway League

A Night with Janis Joplin Closes on Broadway

A Night with Janis JoplinThe bluesy, rockin’ musical revue A Night with Janis Joplin, starring Mary Bridget Davies in the title role, concludes its run at the Lyceum Theatre on Broadway today. However, don’t expect the bio-musical to be gone for long — there are already plans to move it to another theater.

“We are tremendously proud of this show, and excited about the many people who want to see A Night with Janis Joplin in New York. We are finalizing a wonderful option to move to another venue in New York City,” stated producers Michael Cohl, Todd Gershwin, and Daniel Chilewich. “A Night with Janis Joplin receives four standing ovations nightly and continues to play to captivated crowds on Broadway. We know that the music and the story of Janis Joplin deserve to live on.”

Both directed and written by Randy Johnson, A Night with Janis Joplin opened on Broadway on October 10.

Broadway Musical Taboo Stages Reunion Concert

TabooThe beloved but relatively short-lived Broadway pop musical Taboo, which played the Great White Way in 2003, is holding a 10th Anniversary reunion concert tonight and tomorrow at the club 54 Below. There will be two performances of the reunion concert on February 7 at 8pm and 11pm and again on February 8 at 8pm and 11pm.

Produced by Rosie O’Donnell, Taboo was the biographical tale of Boy George and the ’80s London club scene, and even co-starred Boy George himself in the role of Leigh Bowery. The reunion show will feature several original cast members from the Broadway production of Taboo, including Jeffrey Carlson, Cary Shields, Liz McCartney, and Sarah Uriarte Berry.

John McDaniel, Taboo’s original music director on Broadway, will also provide music direction for the concert. Proceeds from the event will go to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.  Click here for more information.

Spring Training Comes Early for the Yankees on Broadway

Bronx BombersIt’s early yet for baseball season, but fans of America’s great past time can get a little taste of the game on the Broadway stage over at the Circle in the Square Theatre, where the new play Bronx Bombers opens tonight. Written and directed by Eric Simonson, the play focuses on one of the sport’s most famed franchises, the New York Yankees.

Bronx Bombers, which was first seen Off-Broadway at Primary Stages last year, takes audiences on a trip through Yankees history by looking at the team through the eyes of one of its icons, Yogi Berra.  Actor Peter Scolari plays Yogi opposite his real-life wife Tracy Shayne as Yogi’s wife Carmen.  Christopher Jackson, Keith Nobbs, Bill Dawes, Henry Coffey, Francois Battiste, John Wernke, and C.J. Wilson co-star.

Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Lou Gehrig, and Derek Jeter are among the New York Yankees legends who are represented onstage in Bronx Bombers as the show examines both the triumphs and the troubles that the team encounters over the years.  For fans who can’t wait for baseball season to start, this may be the ideal Broadway show to tide them over until spring training.

Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis Planning NYC Cooking TV Show

Bobby Flay and fellow Food Network star, Giada DeLaurentiisCelebrity chef Bobby Flay and fellow Food Network star, Giada De Laurentiis are developing a new TV show in New York City, currently working-titled as “Flay’s Fillet” or “Giada DeLicious” or just “Gastro Garage”.

Sources indicate that “Gastro Garage” is a cross between “Live, with Kelly & Michael”  and Emeril Legasse’s “Emeril Live” – so, the show pitches hot topics in between cooking segments appealing to ‘MasterChef’ quality cooks. What is interesting is that both shows it’s modeled after contain the word “live” in their title- suggesting that “Gastro Garage” is going to be very live, complete with kitchen accidents, which sadly, Giada is no stranger to.

The show’s format seems to be distancing itself from the dumbed-down cooking approach that Rachael Ray and the Barefoot Contessa have provided to viewers looking for cooking-meets-lifestyle TV shows, with dishes easy enough that even the Kardashians could master. “Gastro Garage” will be going after seasoned chefs that will know the difference between a whisk and a colander and don’t need to be told about either. Comparatively, another TV show “The Kitchen” currently provides the high road for gastro fans, but lacks the electricity that exists between Flay and De Laurentiis that clearly transfers to TV beautifully – well in the TV pilot at least.

The show celebrates the collaboration between Flay’s New American style to cooking and De Laurentiis’s classic Italian approach. In the recently shot pilot, some sparks did fly on the set, with De Laurentiis setting fire to the souffle and the fire extinguisher was needed to calm the flames and the stars’ nerves. It’s expected that guest stars on the show will include many of Flay’s and Giada’s celebrity friends including John Mayer, Drake, Tyson Beckford, and Matt Lauer.

It’s rumored that the show will operate out of Emeril’s old Food Network studio in the Chelsea Market- this being an ideal central location for TV audiences to travel to and a wonderful array of fresh produce available in the food market below the studio. When Flay “runs out” of black pepper, it’s anticipated that he will run down to the market with a camera and shoot the whole scene of choosing the perfect black pepper to adorn his culinary creation, all while talking lifestyle and politics. And all of it live.

No deal is in place yet with a production company, but it will almost certainly will be shot out of New York City given that the Flay restaurants need Bobby to continue to steer the ship; Bar Americain, Mesa Grill, Bobby’s Burger Palace, and his new NOHO project, Gato, all need the captain at hand. Giada lives and works in NYC and given that she has a family here too, she has no intention of spending weeks away in Hollywood shooting the show, even the cost savings to The Food Network are huge..

Giada has a huge following herself with her “Giada at Home” show on Food network, her Academia Barilla premium pasta line, and her huge food and homeware deal with Target. She won a daytime Emmy award in 2008 for outstanding lifestyle host and she has become a mentor to the Food Network’s other up-and-coming chefs. Originally trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, De Laurentiis famously cut her finger on a live TV show on Thanksgiving 2013 and then started feeling dizzy. She starting losing copious amounts of blood and passed out off-set. A couple of hours later she was all stitched up and ready to shoot the next show. She also has written a children’s book and loves to spend time with her husband, Todd Thompson, and her daughter Jade.

Flay is no stranger to TV either. As well as his Iron Chef appearances he did a stint on HBO’s Entourage where he played Mrs. Ari Gold’s love interest. His restaurant was also featured in the show. He reportedly received no payment for this appearance, but his businesses received a great deal of publicity.

Regis Philbin Begins New TV Season With Crowd Goes Wild

crowd-goes-wild with Regis PhilbinRegis Philbin continues his illustrious career with a new show on Fox Sports 1 Crowd Goes Wild.

The show is shot out of the Chelsea Piers Studios with a studio audience and is produced by Embassy Row Productions. Chelsea Pier Studios are on the far West side of Manhattan, but fans are still eager to take the trip all the way west to get to see Regis and his team discuss today’s sports news in a less-in-your-face way than all the other sports shows on TV. The show is a free-flowing format that can go pretty much anywhere on topics as wide as hockey to golf, Olympics to X Games.

Philbin’s team includes: Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Ga, retired tennis player Michael Kost, football star Trevor Pryce, and TV anchor Georgie Thompson. So the show doesn’t become a boys club, they added in Katie Nolan who serves on the team as the youth opinion and promotes the social interaction part, something many of the live New York Shows now do to pep up the show. When the show is on live, their Twitter and Facebook accounts light up with viewer interest and opinion.The show is dubbed as a lively and conversational sports show, but it plans on being much more.

The show is an hour long and the audience is asked to be there early, so if you are thinking about attending, plan on being there at least two hours (not including the time it takes to get to the far west side.) They have an audience maximum of 40 people per day and they can provide group tickets. Refreshments and bathrooms are provided, but no food is provided. The show brings in guests from time-to-time and will often feature opinions from fans, bloggers, and journalists. Even members of the audience get to have their say by voting and being part of the show by talking to the hosts. One of the problems that producers face is that Regis’s demographic skews woefully older and advertisers for this show aren’t too happy if they fill the seats with older folks, so the show tries to keep the age down – but often, this older demographic is the only group interested in going all the way out to the west side to see the show – it is Regis after all.

This isn’t the first time that this production company has had a sports show: in 2003 Embassy brought us Cold Pizza on ESPN, which was an ill-fated show shot in the bottom of the New Yorker hotel without a studio audience. The show lasted a season before ESPN execs figured out that they got more TV audience by re-running SuperBowl XLII (42) from 2007 featuring the New York Giants and the New England Patriots.

Regis Philbin has had an illustrious career. He started way back in 1962 as the announcer on The Tonight Show under Jack Paar and then transferred Johnny Carson, who switched Philbin out for Ed McMahon. (Even stranger is that no documentation exists supporting this accolade, even Wikipedia). Regis worked on over 45 TV shows since with highlights including Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and Regis and Kathie Lee. His partner, Kelly Ripa on Regis and Kelly (a replacement for Kathie Lee) went on to host Kelly and Michael, which still runs today on ABC Television. His biggest success to date was as the host on America’s Got Talent in 2006, but he was cut by producers at the end of that season who felt that he was woefully out-of-touch with the audience they were trying to build.

Crowd Goes Wild is an hour-long show that airs live weekdays 5:00pm-6:00pm ET on FOX Sports 1, which is channel 513 on New York Verizon and 487 on New York Time Warner.

Audience tickets for this show are available from Embassy Row Productions at 212.507.9700

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 2/2/2014

According to the Broadway League, the 2014 Superbowl 48 in New Jersey fails to ignite Broadway ticket sales in New York City and actually kept many Broadway fans away from New York city when compared to the last ten years of sales during the same week. New York City was busy with many Super Bowl fans milling around,  hotels completely sold out, many Super Bowl parties and the NFL awards were at Radio City Music Hall the night before the Super Bowl but very few of these visitors actually went to see a Broadway show – The demographic just didn’t fit and Broadway producers failed to sell the dream.

Broadway overall ticket sales plummeted by nearly two and a half million dollars, falling from $19,122,428 down to $16,714,694, which was a unexpected shock to many shows, but with little history on this kind of event it was hard one to predict.

Even top selling shows like The Lion King took a big hit from a 98.71% capacity just last week, capacity decreased 10% the week of the Super Bowl.Though there were plenty of tourists in town, apparently not enough football fans also have a love for Broadway. What may have taken an even bigger toll was that many locals decided to avoid the Times Square area entirely during the week leading up to the big game, when several blocks of Broadway were turned into an interactive Superbowl celebration.

We can see a similar decrease in Broadway tickets sales from the 2013 Super Bowl XLVII.  Last year, Broadway grossed a total of $16,564,313 in Broadway ticket sales with 22 shows running.  This year, Broadway grossed a total of $16,714,694 in Broadway ticket sales with 26 shows running. This is far less than expected considering there are an additional four Broadway shows this year. With the 2014 Super Bowl being at the Metlife Stadium, one would think the significant increase in the amount of tourists would help Broadway break free from this annual cycle; however, the numbers do not lie.  Maybe the Super Bowl Boulevard in Times Square (Broadway from 34th Street to 47th Street) occupied tourists during this time.

The highest-grossing show this week was The Book of Mormon, which, despite most of Broadway’s deep financial freeze this week, had no problem selling out and earning $1,641,717.  Wicked came in second with $1,403,247, followed by Disney’s The Lion King, rounding out third place with $1,293,167.  Kinky Boots was the only other Broadway show to make over a million, bringing in $1,173,857.

The following are the Broadway ticket numbers for the week ending February 2, 2014:

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis

Show GrossGross Total Attn %Cap AvgPdAdm
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER $420,646 5,472 75.41% $76.87
A NIGHT WITH JANIS JOPLIN $231,225 3,254 48.42% $71.06
AFTER MIDNIGHT $584,044 6,983 84.25% $83.64
BEAUTIFUL $745,443 7,158 87.21% $104.14
BRONX BOMBERS $137,015 4,470 72.75% $30.65
CHICAGO $340,481 4,643 53.74% $73.33
CINDERELLA $508,604 7,482 53.41% $67.98
JERSEY BOYS $538,710 5,760 58.63% $93.53
KINKY BOOTS $1,173,857 10,421 91.48% $112.64
MACHINAL $196,201 3,192 62.72% $61.47
MAMMA MIA! $343,596 5,291 56.72% $64.94
MATILDA $969,639 10,910 95.23% $88.88
MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL $978,954 9,694 80.41% $100.99
NEWSIES $568,494 7,678 80.99% $74.04
NO MAN’S LAND/WAITING FOR GODOT $536,711 6,337 73.82% $84.69
ONCE $552,672 6,331 74.73% $87.30
OUTSIDE MULLINGAR $317,000 4,648 89.38% $68.20
PIPPIN $614,740 6,780 85.61% $90.67
ROCK OF AGES $289,178 3,494 74.91% $82.76
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,641,717 8,724 102.30% $188.18
THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY $337,841 5,826 81.68% $57.99
THE GLASS MENAGERIE $462,224 5,246 84.29% $88.11
THE LION KING $1,293,167 12,063 88.70% $107.20
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $622,287 8,839 68.84% $70.40
TWELFTH NIGHT/RICHARD III $907,006 8,586 102.12% $105.64
WICKED $1,403,247 13,810 95.43% $101.61
Totals: $16,714,694 183,092 77.81% $86.04

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