Charlie and the Chocolate Factory led the new shows this past week, which also include The Little Foxes, Bandstand, and A Doll’s House, Part 2.
“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” Performs Best Among New Shows
In the week ending April 2, 2017, four new shows began previews on Broadway. On March 28, 2017, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory began previews at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, starring Christian Borle as Willy Wonka. Playing six performances in its first partial week, this new musical had a promising debut. From these six performances, the show brought in a weekly gross of $993,783, which represents 95.3% of its gross potential. With a top ticket price of $233.00, the average paid admission was $110.72, and the audience was filled up to 100.0% of its capacity. This show is a new adaptation of the novel of the same name by Roald Dahl, which was also adapted into a successful 1971 feature film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory starring Gene Wilder. This part is recreated on Broadway by Tony Award-winning actor Christian Borle, whose previous Broadway credits include Falsettos, Something Rotten!, Peter and the Starcatcher, and Legally Blonde. Then, on March 29, 2017, the new production of Lillian Hellman’s play The Little Foxes began previews, starring Cynthia Nixon and Laura Linney in alternating lead parts. In its first partial week of six performances, The Little Foxes brought in a weekly gross of $259,953, representing 48.9% of its gross potential. With a top ticket price of $150, the average paid admission was $71.91, and the audience was filled up to 92.7%. That show is scheduled to open on April 19, 2017, at which performance Laura Linney will play Regina, and Cynthia Nixon will play Birdie.
“Bandstand” and “A Doll’s House, Part 2” Falter at the Start
On March 31, 2017, Bandstand began previews at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, playing 2 previews in its first week of performances. Over the course of these two performances, the show brought in a weekly gross of $170,905, which represents 62.5% of its gross potential. While this is not terribly low, and the show has only played two performances, it does not represent the out of the gate surge of interest of other recently begun musicals, such as Hello, Dolly!, Anastasia, or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Still, the following week’s gross will be more representative of the show’s projected success, and then reviews after the opening night on April 26, 2017 will cinch whether this musical will find its legs. On March 30, 2017, A Doll’s House, Part 2 began previews. This new play by Lucas Hnath is directed by fast-tracked young director Sam Gold, with a cast that includes Laurie Metcalf, Chris Cooper, Jayne Houdyshell, and Condola Rashad. Will this superstar theatre cast, which is nonetheless not A-list with regards to Hollywood, be enough to sustain interest in this intriguing new play with a name that sounds both vegetable and experimental at once? If the first partial week of five previews is representative of the weeks to come, it most certainly will not be. Over these five performances, A Doll’s House, Part 2 brought in a dismal gross of $85,982, which represents just 18.2% of gross potential. This low first week may be due in part to the fact that producer Scott Rudin decided to start preview performances two days earlier last minute. On March 9, 2017, they added two days of previews, which apparently did not sell well. That show is scheduled to open on April 27, 2017.