“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.

Little Miss Sunshine Musical Coming To Off-Broadway

Little Miss SunshineThe Oscar-nominated family road trip film Little Miss Sunshine is now a musical, and soon New York audiences will be able to see it when the show hits Off-Broadway’s Second Stage Theatre. Casting hasn’t yet been announced, but the musical version of Little Miss Sunshine is set to begin performances at Second Stage on October 15.

William Finn (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) and James Lapine (Into the Woods) wrote the Off-Broadway bound musical, which had its world premiere at the La Jolla Playhouse in early 2011. Little Miss Sunshine has undergone major revisions since then, so the New York premiere will essentially be a very different show.

“I am thrilled to kick off our 35th anniversary season with Little Miss Sunshine,” stated Carole Rothman, Second Stage Theatre’s artistic director. “It seems appropriate to kick off this landmark season with a musical about optimism and resiliency, two qualities that are crucial for any not-for-profit theatre celebrating its past while also looking to its future.”

Broadway’s Best Concert at Second Stage on January 21

Headshot Mary Testa broadway actress A concert for anyone interested in seeing the future of America musical theatre, “Broadway’s Best” is a special event launching The Directory of Contempory Theatre Writers, an exhaustive new resource that gives musical theater fans direct access to 150 composers and lyricists and their mostly unpublished or self-published songs. The concert is being held at Off-Broadway’s Second Stage Theatre (305 W. 43rd Street) on January 21 at 8pm.

“Broadway’s Best” will include the talents of many Broadway and Off-Broadway performers, including Mary Testa, Darius de Haas, Nick Blaemire, Jeff Blumenkrantz, Robin de Jesus, Kenita Miller, Randy Redd, Andrew Samonsky, Morgan Billings, Lucas Steele, and more.

The songwriters whose work will be featured include John Bucchino, Daniel Maté, Tom Gualtieri, David Sisco, Brad Alexander, Adam Mathias, Chris Miller, Nathan Tysen, Peter Mills, Barry Wyner, Michael Wartofsky, Michael Kooman, Christopher Dimond, Jenny Giering, and many more.

The “Broadway’s Best” concert, which will be hosted by Seth Rudetsky, will benefit the Dramatists Guild Fund. Tickets are $45. Reserve by calling 212-246-4422 or click here.