Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 3/29/2015

This week’s notable movements on Broadway are:

“Something Rotten!” and “Doctor Zhivago” Begin Previews

In the week ending March 29, 2015, Something Rotten! was one of four new shows that began previews. Over the course of seven performances at the St. James Theatre, the new musical directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon) brought in $363,874, which represents 68.51% of its gross capacity. That is not bad for a new show without previous brand name recognition. Furthermore, it has Broadway stars but not Hollywood stars, including Christian Borle, Brian D’Arcy James, Brooks Ashmanskas, and Peter Bartlett. With a top ticket price of $197.00, the average paid ticket was only $35.30. Therefore, though the average audience capacity was 99.1%, the ticket buyers mostly paid highly discounted rates. This is a good tactic for a new show to gain popularity through word of mouth in its early days. Furthermore, Doctor Zhivago began previews at the Broadway Theatre on March 27, 2015, playing three performances over this first week. With a weekly gross of $291,270, the show brought in 60.39% of its gross potential, with an average paid admission of $74.02.

“Fun Home” and “The Visit” Also Join the Broadway Ranks

After a wildly successful run at the Public Theatre, Fun Home began previews on March 27, 2015, playing 4 performances in this first week. The show brought in a weekly gross of $218,509, representing 58.56% of its gross potential. With a top ticket price of $200.00, the average paid admission was $77.43, representing a moderate amount of discounting to reach the audience capacity of 100.5%. This is another new musical that hopes to spread word of mouth through early discounting in the run, but will hope to maintain full audiences at higher priced tickets after opening. Finally, The Visit began previews on March 26, 2015 at the Lyceum Theatre. Starring Chita Rivera and Roger Rees, this musical has a book by Terrence McNally, and a score by John Kander and Fred Ebb. Over its first five performances, the show only brought in $167,410 despite its high pedigree of cast and creative team. This represents 35.12% of the show’s gross potential. With a top ticket price of $225.00, the average paid admission was $46.74, reaching an average audience capacity of 79.5%.

The following are the Broadway ticket sales numbers for the week ending March 29, 2015:Broadway-Show-Ticket-Analysis-3-29-15

Show Name GrossGross TotalAttn %Capacity AvgPdAdm
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER $642,467 6,469 89.15% $99.31
ALADDIN $1,569,812 13,785 100.01% $113.88
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS $859,762 10,620 92.45% $80.96
BEAUTIFUL $979,932 7,279 88.68% $134.62
CABARET $935,989 7,042 98.57% $132.92
CHICAGO $694,655 8,032 92.96% $86.49
DOCTOR ZHIVAGO $291,270 3,935 88.75% $74.02
FINDING NEVERLAND $1,046,994 11,211 94.75% $93.39
FISH IN THE DARK $1,200,038 8,720 101.58% $137.62
FUN HOME $218,509 2,822 100.50% $77.43
GIGI $483,908 7,407 78.03% $65.33
HAND TO GOD $235,413 5,379 85.98% $43.77
HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH $506,395 5,908 83.81% $85.71
HONEYMOON IN VEGAS $371,576 5,020 54.57% $74.02
IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU $335,706 6,144 78.53% $54.64
IT’S ONLY A PLAY $612,583 6,130 71.15% $99.93
JERSEY BOYS $738,877 8,053 81.97% $91.75
KINKY BOOTS $1,004,700 9,875 86.68% $101.74
LES MISÉRABLES $800,286 9,568 84.88% $83.64
MAMMA MIA! $699,086 8,483 90.94% $82.41
MATILDA $1,137,135 11,486 100.26% $99.00
ON THE TOWN $573,548 9,032 60.25% $63.50
ON THE TWENTIETH CENTURY $486,398 5,664 98.06% $85.88
SKYLIGHT $618,692 6,215 96.87% $99.55
SOMETHING ROTTEN! $363,874 10,307 99.11% $35.30
THE AUDIENCE $1,164,962 7,584 101.35% $153.61
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,529,584 8,751 102.61% $174.79
THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME $792,781 7,758 95.26% $102.19
THE HEIDI CHRONICLES $335,976 4,981 62.20% $67.45
THE KING AND I $776,946 8,377 100.01% $92.75
THE LION KING $2,064,202 13,494 99.22% $152.97
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $964,013 11,422 88.96% $84.40
THE VISIT $167,410 3,582 79.51% $46.74
WICKED $1,872,149 14,604 94.78% $128.19
WOLF HALL PARTS ONE & TWO $886,920 8,877 80.23% $99.91
Totals $27,962,546 284,016 88.65% $94.28

Broadway ticket sales raw data are provided courtesy of The Broadway League All other data, text, opinion, charts and commentary are copyright © 2015 nytix.com

“It Shoulda Been You” Begins Previews

David Hyde Pierce Directs, Tyne Daly Stars

it shoulda been youOn March 17, 2015, It Shoulda Been You began previews at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. The musical comes to Broadway after a critically acclaimed run at the George Street Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey. The show marks David Hyde Pierce’s Broadway directorial debut. As an actor Pierce has appeared on Broadway in many shows including Spamalot, La Bête, and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. This is in addition to his numerous screen credits, most notably TV’s “Frasier.” The musical has book and lyrics by Brian Hargrove (who happens to be David Hyde Pierce’s husband) and a score by Barbara Anselmi. This marks the Broadway debuts of both Hargrove and Anselmi. This wedding musical comedy stars Tyne Daly (Mothers and Sons, Master Class, Gypsy) as the mother of the bride, Sierra Boggess (Master Class, The Little Mermaid) as the bride, Harriet Harris (Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Present Laughter) as the mother of the groom, and David Burtka (Gypsy, husband of Neil Patrick Harris) as the groom.

Further Cast and Creative Teamit shoulda been you

Additional roles are played by Montego Glover (Memphis, The Color Purple) as the bride’s maid of honor, Lisa Howard (Priscilla Queen of the Desert, 9 to 5) as the sister of the bride, and Edward Hibbert (Mrs. Warren’s Profession, The Drowsy Chaperone) as the wedding planner. The show is choreographed by Josh Rhodes (Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, First Date), and the musical director is Lawrence Yurman (On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, Grey Gardens). In addition, the scenic design is by Anna Louizos (Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella), the costume design is by William Ivey Long (On the Twentieth Century), the lighting design is by Ken Billington (Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway), and sound design is by Nevin Steinberg (Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella), who happens to share the same last name as the bride’s family in this musical comedy.

A Wedding Comedy Gone Awry

In It Shoulda Been You, two families of different backgrounds come together for the wedding of their son and daughter. Rebecca Steinberg, the bride, comes from a very Jewish family, whereas Brian Howard, the groom, comes from a WASPier clan. The groom’s mother loves to drink, and the bridge’s mother loves to kvetch. Not only do the parents clash immediately, but there are other tensions brewing beneath the surface. Ultimately, the bride’s sister needs to come to the rescue, as she realizes her sister has gone too far and the secrets need to be revealed. The show is scheduled to open on April 14, 2015, and it is presently set for an open-ended run.

“On the Twentieth Century” Opens

A Revival of a Screwball Musical Comedy

on the twentieth centuryOn March 15, 2015, On the Twentieth Century played its opening night performance at the American Airlines Theatre. Produced by the Roundabout Theatre Company, this musical is a revival of the original produced in 1978, which in turn was based off a play from 1932 by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, which was based off an unpublished by Charles Bruce Millholland. Furthermore, a film entitled Twentieth Century was released in 1934 based off the Hecht and MacArthur play. This musical has book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green (Singin’ in the Rain, Bells are Ringing, Wonderful Town), and a score by Cy Coleman (Sweet Charity, City of Angels, The Will Rogers Follies, Barnum). Following its 1978 Broadway run, the show won the Tony Award for Best Book as well as the Tony Award for Best Original Score, and then transferred to the West End in 1980. With the exception of a smaller London production in 2010, this is the first major revival. Directed by Scott Ellis and choreographed by Warren Carlyle, the musical stars Kristin Chenoweth, Peter Gallagher, Mary-Louise Wilson, Michael McGrath, Andy Karl, and Mark Linn-Baker.

Overall Positive ReviewsON THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

The reviews are in, and critics are generally laudatory of this production. Ben Brantley wore none of his sometime cynicism in writing that he was on cloud nine following this performance, praising the “over-the-moon” acting which is a level above over-acting. In this case, he believes the extravagant performances by Chenoweth and Gallagher, among others, served the material brilliantly, and furthermore he was delighted to see a musical revival that isn’t revived very often, in this case for the first time. Joe Dziemianowicz calls the show Broadway musical bliss, delighting in everything from David Rockwell’s art deco set of the locomotive train, to Chenoweth’s dynamite comedy and voice. Frank Scheck from the New York Post delights in the fact that they don’t make musicals, or write dialogue, like this anymore, and likewise calls the show theatrical bliss. Jesse Green in Vulture calls the revival delicious, acknowledging that there are a million reasons why the show shouldn’t work today, but that Chenoweth above all makes those reasons fall to the wayside, as the role of Lily Garland is perfectly suited to her natural gifts. David Rooney of The Hollywood Report was more on the fence, deeming that Scott Ellis is off his game and that the mock operetta style becomes tedious to watch.

Mediocre Box Office Performance

Despite these largely positive reviews, the show is still struggling at the box office. This is not surprising, because most of these critical responses were extravagantly positive especially because they did not expect to like it. The show’s title, description, and appearance seem to make it very dated, and this makes it a difficult sell at the box office. It doesn’t matter that the show defies expectations, because you have to buy a ticket to find that out. In the full week of performances following the release of these reviews, the show’s weekly gross went up by only $75,479, bringing it to a gross of $466,078 across eight performances. This is only 56.69% of the week’s gross potential. Still, the Roundabout is managing to fill many of its seats, as the show did average over 100% of audience capacity in the last two weeks. However, with a top ticket price of $229.00, the average paid admission was $80.30, showing a heavy amount of discounting. Fortunately, the Roundabout is equipped to handle these numbers as a not-for-profit theatre company.

Harvey Weinstein’s “Finding Neverland” Begins Previews

Inspired by the 2004 Film of the Same Name

finding neverlandOn March 15, 2015, Finding Neverland began previews at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. The musical is the first venture for Weinstein Live Entertainment, which is the stage producing entity of Harvey Weinstein, the film producing powerhouse whose many credits include Shakespeare in Love, August: Osage County, The Artist, Inglourious Basterds, and The King’s Speech. Whereas Weinstein has served as a limited partner in assisting the production of stage plays in the past, such as The Producers, Billy Elliot the Musical, and August: Osage County, this is the first his company has developed a show from scratch and served as lead producer. Always taking precautions for perfection, Weinstein hired a seasoned executive producer to make sure the show was running smoothly: Barry and Fran Weissler, whose many credits include Chicago, Pippin, La Cage aux Folles, and The Scottsboro Boys. The musical Finding Neverland is based on the 2004 film, which starred Johnny Depp as J.M. Barrie, the writer of Peter Pan; the film also won the 2004 Academy Award for Best Musical Score. That film was also a major commercial hit, bringing in over $118 million at the box office, with a budget of $25 million. The film was distributed by Miramax, a Weinstein Company, which evolved into Weinstein’s interest in the stage adaptation.

A Superb Creative Team

The show is directed by Diane Paulus, who is renowned for her original interpretation of musicals including Hair, Pippin, and The Gershwins’ Porgy & Bess. She is also the artistic director of American Repertory Theatre in Boston. Finding Neverland is choreographed by Mia Michaels who is best known for being a judge and choreographer on the TV Show So You Think You Can Dance; this is her first venture into Broadway choreography. Weinstein, ever the perfectionist, did not find this creative team on his first attempt. Finding Neverland premiered in Leicester, England in an out of the way run to work out its kinks. Whereas it is not unusual for producers to try their shows out of town before bringing them to Broadway, they usually don’t go as far as rural England, and furthermore they usually stick with their team in working on the issues. However, in this case, Weinstein got such mixed feedback from the Leicester run that he decided to scrap his creative team and start from the beginning, and this is when he brought in Diane Paulus, and decided to have a pre-Broadway run in Cambridge at American Repertory Theatre. In this revised version, the book is by James Graham, and the music and lyrics are by Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy.

Original Broadway Castkelsey grammer matthew morrison

For the Broadway production, many new cast members were brought in from previous incarnations. At the Lunt-Fontanne, the role of J. M. Barrie is played by Matthew Morrison (Hairspray, The Light in the Piazza, “Glee”). The role of Sylvia Llewelyn Davies remains the same as from ART; she is played by Laura Michelle Kelly (Mary Poppins). The part of Charles Frohman and Captain Hook is played by Kelsey Grammer (“Frasier”, “Cheers”, La Cage aux Folles), and Mary Barrie is played by Teal Wicks (Wicked, Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical). Additional roles are played by Carolee Carmello, Courtney Balan, Dana Costello, Melanie Moore, and Rory Donovan. This is in addition to the roles played by children, which have rotating casts. The show will have its official opening on April 15, 2015, and it presently scheduled for an open-ended run.

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 3/22/2015

This week’s notable movements on Broadway are:

“It Shoulda Been You” and “Gigi” Start Previews

In the week ending March 22, 2015, three new shows began previews on Broadway. None of them appear to be immediate hits. On March 17, 2015, It Shoulda Been You began previews at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. Starring Tyne Daly and directed by David Hyde Pierce, this new musical transferred from the George Street Playhouse is having difficulty in its opening performances. In the first week of six performances, the show brought in $293,768, which amounts to 41.16% of the show’s gross potential. With a top ticket price of $197.00, the average paid admission was only $57.49, showing a heavy amount of discounting. Nevertheless, it only filled up 87.1% of seats. On March 19, 2015, Gigi began previews at the Neil Simon Theatre. Over the course of four performances, Gigi brought in $331,484, which is 47.99% of gross potential. Starring Vanessa Hudgens, the musical revival may not have enough star attraction for the Broadway ticket buying demographic. With a top ticket price of $198.00, the average paid admission was $77.25, and the average audience capacity was 79.1%. Therefore, in comparison to It Shoulda Been You, ticket buyers for Gigi are paying slightly more but fewer of them are buying.

“Wolf Hall: Parts 1 and 2” Begin Performances in Repertory

On March 20, 2015, Wolf Hall: Parts 1 and 2 began playing in repertory at the Winter Garden Theatre. Following a successful run in London, this two-play series based on the novels by Hilary Mantel may have difficulty gaining traction in the U.S. Though British transfers often do well, the hefty nature of the two plays may dissuade ticket buyers who are looking for lighter fare. On the other hand, perhaps it will just take time for word of mouth and positive reviews to catch hold at the box office. In its first week of 4 performances, the two-play production brought in $419,780, which represents 58.73% of its gross potential. With a top ticket price of $293.50, the average paid admission was $99.66, and the average audience capacity was 76.1%. Therefore, similar to Gigi, Wolf Hall: Parts 1 and 2 is not discounting quite as much as it might be able to, but as a result fewer seats are filled across the week’s performances. It will be interesting to view how this evolves as even more shows begin performances in this bursting spring season.

 

The following are the Broadway ticket sales numbers for the week ending March 22, 2015:Broadway-Show-Ticket-Analysis-3-22-15

Show Name GrossGross TotalAttn %Capacity AvgPdAdm
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER $688,806 6,907 95.19% $99.73
ALADDIN $1,445,641 13,786 100.01% $104.86
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS $737,241 9,050 91.92% $81.46
BEAUTIFUL $992,794 7,512 91.52% $132.16
CABARET $856,644 6,953 97.33% $123.20
CHICAGO $675,431 7,926 91.74% $85.22
FINDING NEVERLAND $1,004,171 10,460 101.03% $96.00
FISH IN THE DARK $1,192,234 8,720 101.58% $136.72
GIGI $331,484 4,291 79.11% $77.25
HAND TO GOD $217,974 5,137 82.11% $42.43
HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH $421,691 4,631 65.70% $91.06
HONEYMOON IN VEGAS $386,247 5,188 56.39% $74.45
IF/THEN $857,730 8,837 84.26% $97.06
IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU $293,768 5,110 87.08% $57.49
IT’S ONLY A PLAY $420,606 4,700 54.55% $89.49
JERSEY BOYS $783,181 8,390 85.40% $93.35
KINKY BOOTS $1,056,517 10,381 91.13% $101.77
LES MISÉRABLES $834,837 10,313 91.49% $80.95
MAMMA MIA! $634,709 7,881 84.49% $80.54
MATILDA $1,049,234 11,514 100.51% $91.13
ON THE TOWN $575,425 8,583 57.25% $67.04
ON THE TWENTIETH CENTURY $466,078 5,804 100.48% $80.30
SKYLIGHT $581,494 5,372 95.69% $108.25
THE AUDIENCE $1,173,331 7,602 101.59% $154.35
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,547,575 8,752 102.63% $176.83
THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME $797,549 7,812 95.92% $102.09
THE HEIDI CHRONICLES $329,002 5,869 73.29% $56.06
THE KING AND I $814,492 8,316 99.28% $97.94
THE LION KING $1,901,829 13,499 99.26% $140.89
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $974,043 11,372 88.57% $85.65
WICKED $1,855,247 15,214 98.74% $121.94
WOLF HALL PARTS ONE & TWO $419,780 4,212 76.14% $99.66
Totals $26,316,782 260,094 88.17% $97.73

Broadway ticket sales raw data are provided courtesy of The Broadway League All other data, text, opinion, charts and commentary are copyright © 2015 nytix.com

Irreverent Puppet Play “Hand to God” Begins Previews

An Irreverent Comedy Makes It to the Top

hand to godOn March 14, 2015, Hand to God began previews at the Booth Theatre. It is scheduled to open on April 7, 2015, and no closing date has been announced at this time. The play was first produced in 2011 by the Ensemble Studio Theatre, and Off-Broadway bordering on Off-Off-Broadway venue situated on the west side of midtown Manhattan. It received such positive reviews and excited word of mouth that EST extended the run, and then extended the run again. Subsequently, the play was produced by an unarguably Off-Broadway theatre company, MCC Theatre, at their Lucille Lortel Theatre. Once again, the play received excellent response. Finally, after much effort on the part of the industrious lead producer Kevin McCollum (Rent, Avenue Q), the play has come to Broadway. It is very unusual for a play to travel the ladder of New York theatre hierarchy in this way, especially without swapping out its stars for Hollywood A-listers. However, this production displayed integrity from the very beginning, and it has come to Broadway with much of its original cast, starring the incredible Steven Boyer in his first Broadway leading part. Furthermore, the playwright Robert Askins, as well as the director Moritz von Stuelpnagel, are both theatre industry diehards whose work has never before been seen on Broadway. They are finally getting their shot in the spotlight.

Turning Vulnerability Into Strengthhand to god

For the show’s marketing campaign, McCollum and his fellow producers decided to take a route that others may have considered risky. However, those others would be unlikely to have decided to produce such a risky commercial bet as Hand to God. Designed by Broadway advertising company AKA, the show’s campaign was scrawled in a childish handwriting and said: “No Movie Stars. No London Transfer. No Film Adaptation,” and it concluded “…Pray For Us.” It’s true; the play has no movie stars, it has not received rave reviews from an acclaimed run in London (only Off-Broadway in New York), and it is not an adaptation from the big screen. Instead, its only merits are its irreverent brand of comedy and brilliant performances. Playing off the religious themed humor of the play, the final tagline “Pray for us” asks the audience not to buy tickets, but just to wish them well. Of course, this ad campaign will hopefully convince theatregoers to buy tickets as well. The difficulty, however, is that the price range for Broadway is often too high for those moved by such outside the box advertising. Nevertheless, the producers took the most clever route available to them, and even if the campaign doesn’t make this a sell-out hit, it will surely raise some eyebrows and help spread the word about the show.

A Dark Comedy about a Demonic Puppet

Hand to God is a dark comedy that takes place “nowish” in Texas, somewhere between the country and the city, as it is billed. Steven Boyer, who is in his 30s, plays a young boy named Jason who joins a Christian Puppet Ministry. Soon, to his astonishment, his puppet Tyrone is clearly possessed by the devil, and persuades Jason to do all kinds of naughty things. It is a while, however, before the pastor and other church members realize who is to blame. In the meantime, others get reprimanded and chaos ensues. This hilarious and off-kilter comedy will be an interesting addition to the Broadway slate this season, and hopefully the critics love it as much as they did the first two times. Though Broadway is a bigger canvas with higher pressure, the performances and comedy should be able to fill up the larger theatre with uproarious laughter.

“Constellations” Concludes Its Run

Last Performance March 15, 2015

constellations-large-643x441On March 15, 2015, Constellations played its last performance at Broadway’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. Produced by the Manhattan Theatre Club, Constellations began performances on December 16, 2014 and officially opened on January 13, 2015. Upon closing, it had played 76 performances on top of 29 preview performances. The play starred Jake Gyllenhaal and Ruth Wilson, both making their Broadway debuts. Constellations is a new play by Nick Payne, a British writer whose last New York production, If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet, also starred Jake Gyllenhaal, but that time Off-Broadway in a Roundabout Theatre Company production. Constellations was directed by Michael Longhurst, who also directed the Roundabout play. This two-hander play premiered in London at the Royal Court Theatre in 2012, after which it transferred to the Duke of York’s Theatre in the West End. It earned strong reviews as well as the covetous honor of Best Play in the Evening Standard Theatre Awards, marking Nick Payne as the youngest writer whose play has ever received that honor. At one point, Payne disclosed that a film adaptation was in the works, but that plan has since been shelved according to a later interview.

Moderate Performance at the Box Officeconstellations

Over the course of its run, Constellations performed fairly well but not excellently at the box office. The highest weekly gross was earned in the closing week of performances, amounting to $704,605, which represents 85.83% of the gross potential. That week, the average ticket price was $120.53, and the audience was at an average 99.9% capacity. Furthermore, in the final three weeks of performances (as well as one week in January), Constellations played nine performances, whereas it had played three weeks of only seven performances each in the first month of its run. It is unclear whether this is due to scheduling conflicts, or designed so as to allow the performers to warm up to the heavy schedule. In any case, throughout the run, the weekly gross was more often around $500,000 per week, with the average paid ticket across the run being $98.87. Furthermore, the percentage reached of gross potential each week averaged out to 67.87%. Therefore, the show could have certainly performed better at the box office, but this is also not bad for a straight play with a small cast and no brand name title recognition, although it may have been thought to fare better due to the starry cast.

Overall Extremely Positive Reviews

Despite the only moderate success at the box office, the theatre critics loved Constellations. Following its opening night on January 13, 2015, the rave reviews poured in. Ben Brantley of The New York Times found the play to be gorgeous and emotionally devastating, praising the excellent performances and writing. Other critics were wowed by the production as well, including Time Out New York, Variety, the Hollywood Reporter, and NBC New York. Therefore, this goes to show that not all plays get the box office response that they deserve, but fortunately many people were able to catch this brilliant production in its New York rendition.

David Hare’s “Skylight” Begins Previews

The Long Road from the National Theatre

Skylight-Broadway-Play-Tickets-176-012814On March 13, 2015, Skylight began previews at Broadway’s John Golden Theatre. It is scheduled to open officially on April 2, 2015, and to run for a limited engagement until June 14, 2015. The play was written by David Hare, and first premiered in 1995, when it was directed by Richard Eyre starring Michael Gambon and Lia Williams. At the time, it opened at the National Theatre’s Cottesloe Theatre, transferred to the West End, and then to Broadway, where it was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play, among other Tony nominations. It had also won the Olivier Award for Best New Play in 1996. Following the Broadway premiere, Skylight returned for another engagement in the West End, this time at the Vaudeville Theatre starring Bill Nighy and Stella Gonet in 1997. In June 2014, a revival of Skylight opened at the Wyndham’s Theatre. That revival was directed by Stephen Daldry, and starred Carey Mulligan alongside Bill Nighy, playing the same part as in 1997. In July 2014, the show was broadcast to cinemas around the world through the National Theatre’s NT Live programme. This helped it gain momentum towards its Broadway run, where it has just begun previews with the same cast as the recent West End revival.

A Promising Start at the Box Officecarey mulligan bill nighy skylight

In the three performances for which box office figures have been thus far reported, Skylight is performing fairly well, although it is not selling out at this stage. Over the course of those three shows, the box office gross was $253,369, which represents 83.59% of its gross potential. With an average paid admission of $105.31, the show’s top ticket price was $248.00, and the audience was at 100.0% capacity. This demonstrates that the show’s producers – Robert Fox and Scott Rudin – have stealthily employed discounting strategies to perfectly fill up the house while maximizing box office grosses. Of course, the expert ticket price strategist Scott Rudin would much prefer not to discount at all, a feat he has managed with an astounding number of his shows, and perhaps as word of mouth spreads, and reviews are eventually published, the production may gain enough traction so as to be able to stop discounting. After all, Carey Mulligan is a big household name, especially with her recent film starring roles such as Daisy in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby. Furthermore, the NT Live exhibition of the London production has served as the best advertising a play can ask for, so hopefully ticket sales will continue to increase as the spring weather comes on more strongly.

A Small Play with a Large Message

Skylight is the first of David Hare’s plays to be set wholly in one room. Carey Mulligan plays Kyra Hollis, a schoolteacher in East London who had previously been living with a family by the name of Sargeant. The play has only three characters. At first, Kyra converses with Edward Sargeant (played by Matthew Beard), who was the son of the family she had lived with. It comes out that Kyra had had an affair with Edward’s father Tom, and she had left her living quarters with their family when Tom’s wife had discovered this adultery. Since that time, Edward’s mother has died, and he confronts Kyra about having abandoned him, as he considers to be like a sister to him. Soon, Tom shows up unannounced, and Kyra cooks an entire spaghetti dinner for him onstage. It becomes clear that the future of their relationship depends on whether they can both lay to rest their preconceived opinions of each other.

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 3/15/2015

This week’s notable movements on Broadway are:

“The King and I,” “An American in Paris,” and “Skylight”

In the week ending March 15, 2015, five new shows kicked off the spring season by beginning previews. None of them were sell outs right out of the gate, but they are all appearing to be strong contenders for the season. First of all, the Lincoln Center production of The King and I began previews on March 12, 2015. In its first week of four performances, the show brought in $420,879, which represents 75.58% of the gross potential. With an average ticket price of $100.50, the theatre was at 100% capacity, showing a degree of discounting and a successful effort to fill all seats for the first performances. In addition, An American in Paris began previews with a first partial week of two performances. Over those two shows, the new Gershwin musical brought in $317,918, which represents 86.55% of its gross potential. With an average paid admission of $100.57, the theatre was at an average 98.7% capacity, showing successful use of strategic discounting. Furthermore, David Hare’s Skylight began performances this past week, playing three shows in its first partial week. In that time, the show brought in $253,369, which represents 83.59% of the show’s gross potential. Similarly, with an average paid admission of $105.31, the audience was at 100% capacity. Therefore, all three of these shows performed similarly in its first few performances, modestly discounting and successfully filling almost all seats.

“Finding Neverland” and “Hand to God”

In addition, the week ending March 15, 2015 saw two additional new shows begin previews, which are at opposing ends of the spectrum in terms of familiarity of brand name and industry power. Finding Neverland, based on the film of the same name, is produced by Harvey Weinstein, a Hollywood powerhouse producer and distributor who is venturing into Broadway producing for the first time with this new musical. With the brand power of the familiar film behind it, Weinstein is betting this show will attract an eager audience. This past week, it only had one preview so far, making it difficult to analyze how successfully the show is performing out of the gate. Still, in that one performance it brought in $159,823, which represents 85.9% of the gross potential. With an average ticket price of $105.84, the show filled 102.1% of its seats in that one performance. Finally, “Hand to God” also began performances this past week, playing also one performance. Unlike the Weinstein production, this show comes to Broadway after a successful Off-Broadway (arguably Off-Off-Broadway) run at the Ensemble Studio Theatre, where the playwright, director, and several actors all making their Broadway debuts. It may take some time for this show’s word of mouth to spread, as in the first preview it brought in only $36,122, which represents 46.02% of the show’s potential. Nevertheless, it still managed to fill 98.2% of seats due to a heavy amount of discounting.

The following are the Broadway ticket sales numbers for the week ending March 15, 2015:Broadway-Show-Ticket-Analysis-3-15-15

Show Name GrossGross Total Attn %Capacity AvgPdAdm
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER $693,830 6,928 95.48% $100.15
ALADDIN $1,320,262 13,785 100.01% $95.78
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS $317,918 3,161 98.72% $100.57
BEAUTIFUL $955,472 7,004 85.33% $136.42
CABARET $834,163 6,909 96.71% $120.74
CHICAGO $623,279 7,889 91.31% $79.01
CONSTELLATIONS $704,605 5,846 99.93% $120.53
FINDING NEVERLAND $159,823 1,510 102.10% $105.84
FISH IN THE DARK $1,223,970 8,720 101.58% $140.36
HAND TO GOD $36,122 768 98.21% $47.03
HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH $604,849 5,961 84.57% $101.47
HONEYMOON IN VEGAS $410,732 5,514 59.93% $74.49
IF/THEN $698,319 9,451 90.11% $73.89
IT’S ONLY A PLAY $518,653 5,843 67.82% $88.76
JERSEY BOYS $720,612 7,838 79.78% $91.94
KINKY BOOTS $1,012,351 10,051 88.23% $100.72
LES MISÉRABLES $790,406 9,950 88.27% $79.44
MAMMA MIA! $567,670 7,291 78.16% $77.86
MATILDA $949,057 11,067 96.60% $85.76
ON THE TOWN $543,130 8,099 54.02% $67.06
ON THE TWENTIETH CENTURY $390,599 5,936 102.77% $65.80
SKYLIGHT $253,369 2,406 100.00% $105.31
THE AUDIENCE $1,085,327 7,591 101.44% $142.98
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,540,949 8,752 102.63% $176.07
THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME $765,691 7,539 92.57% $101.56
THE HEIDI CHRONICLES $321,977 5,895 73.61% $54.62
THE KING AND I $420,879 4,188 100.00% $100.50
THE LION KING $1,824,627 13,587 99.90% $134.29
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $847,147 10,290 80.14% $82.33
WICKED $1,818,766 15,024 97.51% $121.06
Totals $22,954,552 224,793 90.25% $99.08

Broadway ticket sales raw data are provided courtesy of The Broadway League All other data, text, opinion, charts and commentary are copyright © 2015 nytix.com

“An American in Paris” Begins Performances

A Gershwin Musical Based on a Film Based on a Symphony

an american in parisIn 1928, George Gershwin wrote a symphonic poem entitled “An American in Paris” based on his travels in Paris in the 1920s. Influenced by both jazz and the blues, the musical piece was intended to show the experience of an American walking around the French capital, taking in its sights and sounds. In 1951, a film adaptation was made of this symphony starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron. The film incorporates several Gershwin classics such as “I Got Rhythm,” “’S Wonderful,” and “Our Love is Here to Stay.” Directed by Vincente Minnelli from a script written by Alan Jay Lerner, the film was a major hit, winning the Academy Award for Best Picture among many other honors, and bringing in almost $7 million at the box office. Now, for the first time, An American in Paris has been adapted for the stage. Directed and choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, the show premiered in Paris on November 22, 2014, and ran there at the Theatre du Chatelet until January 4, 2015. Now, the show has finally come to Broadway, with its first preview having taken place on March 13, 2015 at the Palace Theatre.

An All-Star Creative Teaman american in paris

The director and choreographer Christopher Wheeldon is making his Broadway directorial debut. He has choreographed once before on Broadway, for Sweet Smell of Success in 2002. However, he is widely considered one of the world’s most coveted and respected ballet choreographers. He trained at the Royal Ballet and then the New York City Ballet, and in 2001 he was honored as the City Ballet’s first choreographer in residence. In 2006, he founded his own ballet company, Morphoses. The producer Stuart Oken invited Wheeldon to direct this musical, and it took some convincing, as he had never directed actors before. However, he eventually agreed. In addition to music and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin, the show has a new book by Craig Lucas (Prelude to a Kiss, The Light in the Piazza, Reckless). In addition, Bartlett Sher (South Pacific, The King and I) is a creative consultant for the show. Wheeldon and Lucas developed a 60 page treatment of the show together before the Gershwin estate agreed to let the producers continue developing the show. Unlike the film, which is set in the 1950s, Lucas and Wheeldon decided to set their An American in Paris in the time just after World War II. Furthermore, they made other changes such as making Lise, the main character, a ballet dancer, and also having her relationship with her composer friend Adam more central to the story.

An American in Paris

The story centers around a young man named Jerry Mulligan (Robert Fairchild), who has just completed his time in the World War II army. He decides to move to Paris, which has been recently liberated, to make his life as a painter. He is helped out by another ex-pat, a wealthy woman named Milo Davenport (Jill Paice) who has a past she does not want to remember. Things become complicated for Jerry when he meets Lise (Leanne Cope), a beautiful Parisian girl who works in a shop. Jerry’s friends Adam (Brandon Uranowitz), a Jewish-American composer, and Henri (Max von Essen), a French aristocrat, also have romantic interests in Lise. Only through the beauty of dance and music can this love triangle be reconciled. An American in Paris is set to open on April 12, 2015, and will continue for an open-ended run.