“Rock of Ages” Concludes Its Run

A Runaway Hit with an 80s Jukebox Score

Rock of Ages Broadway Musical celebrates RocktoberfestOn March 17, 2009, a show called Rock of Ages opened at the Helen Hayes Theatre on Broadway, having transferred from its Off-Broadway run at New World Stages, which followed its Los Angeles premiere in 2005 at a club on Hollywood Boulevard. This jukebox musical featured a book by Chris D’Arienzo along with a rocking score of 80s hits. Unlike other jukebox musicals that focus on one artist (The Four Seasons, Carole King, Abba, Queen, the list goes on), this musical decided to embrace an entire decade (the 80s) and the lifestyle that went with it: head-banging punk style, giant hopes and dreams, and a timeless love story. Though it was certainly not a surefire success, the show defied expectations and managed to run for almost six years and well over 2000 performances. In this time, it managed to gross over $125 million, well exceeding its capitalization and earning a huge amount of profit. Furthermore, a high budget film adaptation starring Tom Cruise, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Alec Baldwin was released in 2012. Nevertheless, the show has finally wore out its welcome, as it has announced it will close on January 18, 2015.

Now Second Stage Can Purchase the Helen Hayes

Several Off-Broadway theatre companies have immortalized their presence in New York City while substantiating a higher profit margin by purchasing and producing in one or more Broadway venues (such as Roundabout and Manhattan Theater Club). Second Stage Theatre, which has held a prominent place in the Off-Broadway scene for many years from its central location at West 43rd Street and 8th Avenue, announced in 2008 that it planned to purchase the Helen Hayes Theatre, a desire Broadway venue due to its size, atmosphere, and location. Because Rock of Ages held on for so much longer than expected, this transaction was unable to take place. However, now that Rock of Ages is finally leaving town, Second Stage will be able to proceed with its plan. This will hopefully allow the company to thrive and contribute to the type of fare that manages to bridge the commercial with the quality-driven, an approach that not-for-profit theatre companies can more easily take than can commercial producers.

The Global Brand of “Rock of Ages” Will ContinueRock of Ages Broadway Show

Though the Broadway show will close, it has delighted countless audience members and has opened productions all over the world, many of which are still running. Versions of the show are still in operation in Mexico City, Las Vegas, and also on the Norwegian Cruise Line Breakaway. The show had its Asian English language premiere in Manila, the Philippines, where it presented the show in 2012, 2013, and 2014. The musical also played in Australia (Melbourne and Brisbane), as well as Toronto from 2010-11. In addition, two different U.S. National tours played, one in 2010-11, and a second tour (non-Equity) from 2011-14. This of course is in addition to the feature film, which was not a financial success; its budget was $75 million, but it only brought in $59.4 million in box office grosses. Still, with digital streaming, the movie will continue to bring in revenue, and the global brand of Rock of Ages will live on, long after the Broadway show closes.

January 2015 Broadway Show Closings

Wintertime Brings Many Shows to a Close

As the January cold settles in, and it becomes clear that it won’t be sunny anytime soon, many Broadway shows have decided to shutter their doors. This is a common time to close shows that want to get a final push from the holiday season, but know they will not optimize their financial future to remain open through the rest of the winter. Some of these are long-running shows that are closing at a profit; some are new shows that never made it work for them financially. In any case, the decision to close in January is not related to the quality of the shows themselves, some of which never manage to find their audiences despite an amazing production and efforts by all involved.

“Motown” to Close and then Re-Open

Vinyl record poster Motown the Musical Broadway Show One unusual choice was made by the producers of Motown – the Musical. While the show will close on January 18, 2015, this will only be temporary. The musical will return to Broadway 18 months later: in July 2016. In the meantime, the show will tour around the United States and United Kingdom. The U.S. tour is already underway, with the company just having wrapped up in Chicago. The U.K. tour will begin in summer 2015. The show had a medium to high capitalization of $18 million, which the producers claim will be recouped by the time the Broadway run closes this week. These numbers will of course be aided by the multiple tours. Despite the high benchmark, the musical sold very well since it began previews on March 11, 2013, with its opening night on April 14, 2013 solidifying it as a crowd favorite. The brand name of the musical genre, along with the unique qualities of the musical style and demographic, have allowed the show to do very well. For many weeks it had remained in the millionaire’s club, and even this summer with a decline in sales it still hovered around the $1 million mark. In the week ending January 11, 2015, the show brought in $1,086,042.

Straight Plays that Never Made the Numbers Work

Two plays are closing this January: This is Our Youth and The Real Thing. Neither play succeeded in recouping this is our youththe-real-thing-pink-and-blackits capitalization. The is Our Youth is written by Kenneth Lonergan, and stars young Hollywood sensations Michael Cera, Kieran Culkin, and Tavi Gevinson. The show is also directed by hot helmer Anna D. Shapiro. However, audiences were not quite a match for this play, which deals with themes of reckless youth and drug use, and the show never made back its money. It closed on January 4, 2015. In addition, The Real Thing is a Tom Stoppard revival that failed to meet expectations. With a starry cast including Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ewan McGregor, Cynthia Nixon, and Josh Hamilton, the play was directed by young hot director Sam Gold. The play closed as planned on January 4, 2015, but it never did as well as the pedigree of its creative team could have implied.

Last Chance Musicals: “Pippin”, “Rock of Ages”, “Cinderella”, “Side Show”, “Once”

rock of ages small photo 100x70Rock of Ages closes on January 18, 2015, marking the conclusion of a successful run that began on March 17, 2009. The jukebox musical featuring 80s hits and a rock n roll love story was turned into a high-budget feature film, and continued to attract audiences for blue red yellow Pippin Broadway Musical posterover 5 years. Still, the producers must have decided the show was no longer making financial sense. Once is another musical that had an undeniably successful run but has now closed on January 4, 2015. After winning eight 2012 Tony Awards including the coveted honor of Best

side showMusical, Once continued to play for several years. The U.S. tour is scheduled to run until August 2015. Diane Paulus’ rendition of Pippin also closed on January 4, 2015 after a successful run since March 23, 2013, including the Tony win of Best Revival of a Musical. Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella also closed that week on January 3, 2015, after running since January 25, 2013. That show also entertained a huge number of Cinderella Broadway Musical Rogers Hammerstein logo audiences, but was not as successful as producers probably had wished. Finally, Side Show closed to the disappointment of its team on January 4, 2015, after runningonce small image for only 56 regular performances and 21 previews. This musical failed to gain traction this fall season and was forced to leave by the theatre landlords.

Constantine Maroulis Returning to “Rock of Ages”

Returning to His “Rock” Roots

Rock of Ages Broadway Musical celebrates RocktoberfestConstantine Maroulis, who originated the role of the protagonist Drew in the Broadway production of Rock of Ages, has returned to the role for a limited 12 week engagement. Maroulis first sang the part onstage in October 2008, when the show had its New York premiere in an Off-Broadway production at New World Stages. When the show transferred to Broadway in March 2009, Maroulis went with it. At the time, he had been on Broadway once before, as a two-month replacement in fall 2006 as Sammy in The Wedding Singer musical. For his role in Rock of Ages, Maroulis was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical. He then set out on the show’s national tour, in September 2010, traveling to sixty venues including Washington D.C. Chicago, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Orlando, and Fort Lauderdale. On August 4, 2014, Constantine returned to the Helen Hayes Theatre where he will reprise his role for 12 weeks.

From “American Idol” to “Jekyll and Hyde”

MaroConstantine Maroulis stars in the Jekyll & Hyde Tourulis first entered the national consciousness in 2004, when he made it to the final six contestants on the fourth season of

American Idol. As earlier seasons of Idol made an even bigger difference in the careers of contestants than later seasons, Maroulis saw a significant boost from this success. He launched a solo career in 2005, and amongst other performances, he premiered a New York show called “A Night at the Rock Show” in September 2009. Other stage credits include the Off-Broadway shows Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris. He also played the role of Roger in the National Tour of Rent. His third and thus far only other Broadway credit began in April 2013, when he played the lead role of Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde in Jekyll and Hyde. Prior to this Broadway run, he traveled with the show for a 25 week National Tour.

“Rock of Ages” Continues to Rock

Though Constantine has been pursuing other endeavors since he completed the Rock of Ages national tour in July 2011, the show has been alive and well. With a book by Chris D’Arienzo and featuring a jukebox of classic 1980s rock hits such as “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Here I Go Again,” “I Wanna Know What Love Is,” and “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” it has been playing to continuously appreciative houses at the Helen Hayes Theatre ever since. Furthermore, a fairly successful film was released in 2012 starring Russell Brand, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Tom Cruise, Bryan Cranston, Mary J. Blige, Paul Giamatti, Alec Baldwin, Julianne Hough, and Diego Boneta in the role of Drew. The show will surely get a boost from Constantine’s return, but perhaps he is pursuing this opportunity for his own interest as much as because it will benefit the show. After all, he has a long way before his name is box office gold, although he has seen great success in his three Broadway outings. In any case, he is surely a face to watch on Broadway, and his voice will continue to soar to amazing heights.

Broadway in Bryant Park Concert Series to Launch July 10

106.7 LITE FM Partners with New York Theatre

For fourteen consecutive years, the radio station 106.7 LITE FM has held an annual lunchtime summer concert series in Manhattan’s Bryant Park featuring the casts of Broadway shows.  The series will begin on Thursday, July 10, 2014, and will continue for six consecutive Thursday until its final event on August 14, 2014.  The Bryant Park stage is located at 6th Avenue between 40th and 42nd Streets in midtown Manhattan.  The performances will begin at 12:30pm, arranged to be convenient for lunchtime entertainment, as many full-time workers in the area take their lunch break in the park on the many green tables and chairs set up around the field.  In addition, the shows are broadcast live on the radio, 106.7 LITE FM.

Bryant Park people on grass big stage with 106.7 lite fm Broadway in Bryant Park

Rocky, Wicked, If/Then, Pippin, Chicago, Les Misérables

The first three events are co-hosted by an Off-Broadway show, and all are hosted by a LITE FM personality.  On July 10, the host will be Delilah, and the show will be co-hosted by Off-Broadway’s Buyer and Cellar, running in the West Village at the Barrow Street Theatre.  The four musicals featured on that first show will be Rocky, Wicked, If/Then, and Stomp.  The last of these is an Off-Broadway show, but still a long running musical hit.  Interestingly, this show features both Wicked, which launched Idina Menzel to undeniable fame, and If/Then, in which she currently stars.  On July 17, the 106.7 LITE FM host will be Helen Little, and the show will be co-hosted by the show Perfect Crime.  This show will feature the Broadway shows Pippin, Chicago, and Les Misérables, as well as the Off-Broadway shows Atomic and iLuminate.

Phantom of the Opera, Cinderella, Bullets over Broadway, Rock of Ages, Once, Holler if Ya Hear Me, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder

106.7 lite fm new york skylineaFor the third week in the series, on July 24, the 106.7 LITE FM host will be Christine Nagy, and the show will be co-hosted by the Off-Broadway show Sistas the Musical.  The event will feature the Broadway shows Phantom of the Opera, Cinderella, and Bullets over Broadway as well as the Off-Broadway shows Avenue Q (once a Broadway hit, now running at New World Stages), and Piece of my Heart (not to be confused with the recent Broadway show A Night With Janis Joplin, this is a musical about the life of Bert Berns).  On July 31, the event continues led by 106.7 LITE FM host Bob Bronson, and featuring the four Broadway shows Rock of Ages, Once, Holler if Ya Hear Me (the new Tupac Shakur musical), and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, which just won the 2014 Tony Award for Best Musical.

Jersey Boys, After Midnight, Matilda, Mamma Mia!, Motown the Musical, On the Town

The penultimate event in the series will take place on August 7, hosted by Rich Kaminski.  The event will feature two Broadway shows – Jersey Boys and After Midnight – as well as the Off-Broadway shows Heathers and 50 Shades! The Musical.  Finally, on August 14, the series will come to a close hosted by Delilah, and featuring four Broadway shows: Matilda, Mamma Mia!, Motown the Musical, and On the Town, which will soon be running at the newly named Lyric Theatre (the former Foxwoods Theatre, where Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark was most recently running).  In general, this series is a marketing event aiming to lure more radio listeners to become theatregoers, while also offering a treat to New Yorkers in the bliss of summertime.

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis w/e 3/09/2014

This weeks notable movements on Broadway are:

Shot out of cannon is A Raisin In The Sun, which is only three performances in and already the sell-out show of the new season. Denzel Washington stars in this redo of the Broadway favorite which averaged $144.53 in its first three days of previews.

Tyne Daly in Mothers and Sons continues to draw audiences, but is upside down with 81% of seats sold, but with an average of only $45 per ticket price – putting it the bottom two shows on Broadway.

Following the close of Bronx Bombers and Machinal, Rock Of Ages has moved into the bottom three Broadway show slot, their first time at this position. Their average paid admission is up on last week though, so time will tell if this can be turned around with recent TV spots that were run on local New York TV stations.

The musical story of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, helmed by Dodger Theatricals, that follows the rags-to-riches tale of four blue-collar kids working their way to stardom has struck a soft spot by only filling only 63.40% of their seats last week. It appears that their strategy is to keep their prices high and seats empty, which is a General Manager strategy that is likely to end with losses for investors. Once the darling of Broadway, Jersey Boys shows signs of wear and tear, by now finishing in the bottom ten position of all Broadway shows. This show may need a fresh management approach to reinvigorate ticket sales.

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

Broadway Show Ticket Sales Analysis 3/09/2014

Show GrossGross Total Attn %Cap AvgPdAdm
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER $409,353 5,306 73.13% $77.15
A RAISIN IN THE SUN $151,179 1,046 100.00% $144.53
AFTER MIDNIGHT $622,013 5,986 72.22% $103.91
ALADDIN $826,491 10,320 100.00% $80.09
ALL THE WAY $736,790 9,322 81.94% $79.04
BEAUTIFUL $847,672 7,140 86.99% $118.72
CHICAGO $520,320 6,604 76.44% $78.79
CINDERELLA $781,798 9,988 71.30% $78.27
IF/THEN $909,159 8,502 95.26% $106.93
JERSEY BOYS $600,488 6,228 63.40% $96.42
KINKY BOOTS $1,268,989 9,961 87.44% $127.40
LES MISÉRABLES $964,004 9,286 94.28% $103.81
MAMMA MIA! $603,731 7,642 81.93% $79.00
MATILDA $991,341 10,566 92.23% $93.82
MOTHERS AND SONS $235,662 5,200 81.05% $45.32
MOTOWN THE MUSICAL $1,119,747 10,880 90.25% $102.92
NEWSIES $648,357 8,563 90.33% $75.72
NO MAN’S LAND/WAITING FOR GODOT $525,313 6,224 72.51% $84.40
ONCE $580,888 6,099 71.99% $95.24
OUTSIDE MULLINGAR $343,445 5,048 97.08% $68.04
PIPPIN $608,988 6,086 76.84% $100.06
ROCK OF AGES $299,674 3,730 79.97% $80.34
ROCKY $635,153 9,581 78.17% $66.29
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,583,887 8,752 102.63% $180.97
THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY $476,005 6,522 80.00% $72.98
THE LION KING $1,511,718 13,312 97.88% $113.56
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $809,460 10,326 80.42% $78.39
WICKED $1,667,093 14,782 97.35% $112.78
Totals: $21,278,718 223,002 84.75% $94.46

Broadway ticket sales raw data are provided courtesy of The Broadway League.
All other data, text, opinion, charts and commentary are copyright © 2014 nytix.com

NYC Super Bowl Event Will Feature Jersey Boys

Jersey Boys Broadway ShowFootball’s biggest event, the 2014 Super Bowl, is coming up on February 2 in East Rutherford in New Jersey. Broadway is getting in on the celebration for Super Bowl 48. Thirteen blocks of Broadway are being turned into “Super Bowl Boulevard,” and on January 29 cast members from Jersey Boys will perform on the Boulevard’s Roman Numerals Stage.

The performance, which will start at 6pm, will feature the hit musical’s star quartet of Matt Bogart, Richard H. Blake, Drew Gehling, and Joseph Leo Bwarie. The world-famous Rockettes and the Boys Choir of Harlem will also perform that day.

This isn’t expected to be the only instance of Broadway getting involved with Super Bowl mania. The cast of Rock of Ages is scheduled to perform on the Roman Numerals Stage on January 30, and again on Super Bowl Sunday outside of MetLife Stadium during the event’s official Tailgate Party. The cast of Jersey Boys are also scheduled to appear at ice hockey Classic at Yankees Stadium between the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils and  a couple of days later at the same venue when the Rangers take on the Islanders. The cast of Jersey Boys will entertain the crowd prior to the game.

Celebrate Rocktoberfest with Broadway’s Rock of Ages

Rock of Ages, Broadway’s most hard rocking musical, embraces the Fourth Annual Rocktoberfest this month with a series of special events.  The show kicked off the month-long celebration on October 2 with a Military Appreciation Night that gave free tickets to 160 soldiers and veterans and offered a post-show party.

Fridays are a special day throughout October, as members of the audience attending Rock of Ages on the nights of October 5, 12, and 19 are given the chance to win free tickets to Six Flags Great Adventure Fright Fest.  Sunday evening shows will also feature a giveaway, with one audience member receiving a Rock of Ages prize package.

“Culture Club Weekends” mean that on Friday and Saturday nights, Rock of Ages attendees can use their ticket stubs to gain free entry to Culture Club, New York City’s premiere ’80s dance club.

On October 23, amNewYork will give one member of the audience a prize that includes New York Yankees tickets.  On October 27, a pre-matinee mixer for singles will offer a chance for metalheads to mingle.

Throughout October, the Hard Rock Cafe is offering a 10% discount to anyone who shows a Rock of Ages ticket stub.

Rocktoberfest culminates in a Fan Appreciation Night on October 29.  To be considered to receive free tickets for Fan Night, click here.  Until October 15, fans are invited to submit photos and stories in order to be nominated for the Rock of Ages Fan Award.

Rock of Ages Hosts Military Tribute Night on October 2

On Monday, October 2, the hit Broadway musical Rock of Ages salutes the United States military by offering 100 free tickets for that night’s performance to active duty, retired, and veteran members of the military services.  Co-sponsored by U.S. Armed Forces and veterans’ issues awareness non-profit The Boot Campaign, the Military Tribute Night will also include a meet-and-greet with the cast and an invitation to a post-show party held at the B.B. King Blues Club and Grill.

One lucky veteran attending the special show will be given a mortage-free home (provided by Benchmark Mortgage and The Boot Campaign), awarded live onstage immediately following the performance.  To nominate a military vet who will be at the performance for this prize, visit www.BootsRock.com.

Earlier this year, Rock of Ages and The Boot Campaign did a photo session featuring the musical’s cast in costume while wearing military boots.  Go to www.BootCampaign.com to view these photos.  To attend the Military Tribute Night performance of Rock of Ages on Broadway, click here and search for tickets to the October 2 show.

Get a Taste of Broadway Today at a Free Broadway Concert

taste of broadway 2012 at the World Financial Center New York City

Stars of Broadway’s Mamma Mia Perform at Taste of Broadway 2012 at the World Financial Center New York City

United Airlines is sponsoring a free outdoor Broadway concert today, August 23, from 12:30-1:15pm in downtown Manhattan.  Hosted by Tony Award winners Judy Kaye and Michael McGrath, the concert will be held at the World Financial Center Plaza, located at 220 Vesey Street (between North End Avenue and West Street).

Designed to be a sort of “sneak peek” of the upcoming annual “Broadway on Broadway” concert, a free event held right in Times Square each September, this Taste of Broadway is scheduled to feature performances from five different Broadway musicals.  Though the schedule is subject to change, the shows currently on the docket are Chicago, Mamma Mia!, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Rock of Ages, and The Phantom of the Opera.

The show is being done in a bare bones format, so gone are all the great costumes and impressive sets, but what remains is the superb singing from these great Broadway actors that bring their characters to life on stage eight times a week.

Given the variety of participating Broadway shows, there will be a little something for everyone at Taste of Broadway, so it is an ideal opportunity for the downtown lunchtime crowd to enjoy a bit of music with their lunch.

Upcoming Broadway Musicals Spotlighted at Broadway in Bryant Park

Broadway in Bryant Park, the annual summer series that features lunchtime performances from Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, has an exciting schedule this month that will feature current Broadway shows alongside upcoming ones.  Held from 12:30pm to 1:30pm each Thursday through August 16, these free midday concerts are ideal for midtown workers and tourists who want to enjoy Bryant Park’s beautiful lawn while watching Broadway singers perform.

On August 2, long-running Broadway musical Mamma Mia! will be showcased, along with Off-Broadway hit Silence the Musical (a hilarious parody of The Silence of the Lambs), the British farce One Man, Two Guvnors, and the forthcoming bio-musical Chaplin.

August 9 will feature another long-running favorite, Chicago, along with the Off-Broadway revival of Rent (which is closing soon, so catch it now!), the new revival of Evita, and the upcoming Broadway musical Rebecca.

The last Broadway in Bryant Park concert of the summer, on August 16, will include the raunchy musical comedy Avenue Q, the delightful Gershwin charmer Nice Work If You Can Get It, and the high-energy musical Rock of Ages, along with two new Broadway shows:  Bring It On: The Musical and A Christmas Story.

Find out more about Broadway in Bryant Park and information about the park itself here.