Three New Shows Began Previews on Broadway this Week: Lobby Hero, Three Tall Women, and Carousel, Keeping the Box Office on Par with Last Week.
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel
On February 28, 2018, a revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel began previews at the Imperial Theatre, directed by Jack O’Brien. In its first partial week of previews, it demonstrated a fair amount of box office promise. Those five performances brought in a weekly gross of $702,387, which represents 69.1% of its potential. With a top ticket price of $323, the average paid admission was $117.93, which shows not a lot of discounting was required to sell initial tickets. The audience capacity was filled up to 83.4%, which is good but not excellent.
Under the producing expertise of Scott Rudin, this show’s potential should not be underestimated, and yet it still appears to be a risky bet to revive an arguably dated musical. The cast includes a number of Tony-vetted performers, but they are still not A-list names of the likes of, say, Bette Midler: opera star Renée Fleming, Jessie Mueller (Beautiful, Waitress), Joshua Henry (The Scottsboro Boys), Lindsay Mendez (Significant Other), and Margaret Colin (Gossip Girl).
Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women
On March 1, 2018, Edward Albee’s play Three Tall Women began performances at the John Golden Theatre, directed by Joe Mantello. With an excellent cast including Alison Pill, Laurie Metcalf, Joseph Medeiros and Glenda Jackson, the show is great bet for an excellent production of a play by a recently deceased and supremely celebrated playwright. Nevertheless, the financial risks are still significant.
Over the course of the four performances in its first partial week of previews, it brought in a weekly gross of $283,296, which represents 68.2% of its potential. With a top ticket price of $273, the average paid admission was $98.06, and the audience was filled up to an average capacity of 91.8%. The show is scheduled to officially open on March 29, 2018. Excellent reviews leading into awards season will be necessary for this show to consider profits in its possible future.
Kenneth Lonergan’s Lobby Hero
Also on March 1, Lobby Hero began previews at the Helen Hayes Theatre, ahead of its opening night scheduled for March 26, 2018. Directed by Trip Cullman (Six Degrees of Separation, Significant Other), the cast includes Michael Cera, (Lonergan’s This Is Our Youth), as well as Bel Powley (Arcadia), Brian Tyree Henry (The Book of Mormon) and Chris Evans (films such as Captain America and Avengers).
With recognizable actors, and Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea contending for the Oscars last year, this show has a fair shot of attracting full houses of audience members. In its first week of 6 performances, it brought in a weekly gross of $261,326, which represents 54.6% of its gross potential, and the audience was filled up to 90.2%. This demonstrates a fair amount of discounting, but as word of mouth spreads, the average paid admission may start to rise.