In Lead Up to Tony Awards, Winning Musicals Thrive
In the week ending June 11, 2017, which was the day of the 71st Annual Tony Awards ceremony, the Broadway box office revealed some clues about how the fateful night would end up. Out of all the shows contending for awards this year, the biggest box office earner in terms of gross potential that week was Hello, Dolly! starring Bette Midler, a show that won the awards for Best Revival of a Musical, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical for Bette Midler, Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical for Gavin Creel, and Best Costume Design of a Musical for Santo Loquasto. This past week, Hello, Dolly! brought in a weekly gross of $2,022,026, which represented 123.2% of its gross potential. With leading lady Bette Midler on the marquis (with her name in an equally sized font to the name of the musical no less), Hello, Dolly! is an unstoppable hit. These numbers are despite the fact that Midler refused to perform at the awards ceremony, as she and her producer Scott Rudin were unable to come to an agreement with the awards show about her compensation and the parameters of her performance, leaving David Hyde Pierce to perform a solo number in her stead. When Midler eventually departs the show, the show might collapse, unless a star of equal caliber steps in. Meanwhile, of this season’s new shows, the second biggest box office earner this past week in terms of gross potential was Dear Evan Hansen, which took home the coveted award for Best Musical, in addition to Best Book of a Musical for Steven Levenson, Best Original Score for Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for Ben Platt, and Best Orchestrations for Alex Lacamoire. This past week, Dear Evan Hansen brought in a weekly gross of $1,249,593, or 106.0% of its gross potential.
Left in the Wake: “Indecent” and “Six Degrees of Separation”
While the winning musicals were thriving even before the awards ceremony, the plays that lost out were flailing. This past week, the lowest earning show in terms of gross potential was Paula Vogel’s play Indecent, which lost the award of Best Play to Oslo, but did win the awards for Best Direction of a Play for Rebecca Taichman, and Best Lighting Design of a Play for Christopher Akerlind. With the lack of meaningful Tony success, Indecent has announced it will play its final performance on June 25, 2017. This past week, the weekly gross for Indecent was $277,395, or 30.0% of its gross potential. Meanwhile, Six Degrees of Separation failed to win either of the awards for which it was nominated: Best Revival of a Play, which it lost to August Wilson’s Jitney, and Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play for Corey Hawkins, which he lost to Kevin Kline for Present Laughter. In the week leading up to the Tony’s, Six Degrees of Separation brought in a weekly gross of $271,320, which represents just 29.1% of its gross potential. That play will close this week as scheduled, on June 18, 2017. Meanwhile, Marvin’s Room has just begun previews on June 8, 2017, playing four performances in its first partial week. The initial weekly gross was $113,033, which represents 32.9% of its gross potential. Beginning performances in the week leading up to the Tony’s, Marvin’s Room may not make a big splash in its first few weeks. Once it opens on June 29, 2017, the reviews may seal the show’s fate.