EXCLUSIVE: Seven years after Hamilton began previews at the Public Theater and gave the business of Broadway and touring a shot in the arm, its lead producer, Jeffrey Seller, is following a similar playbook. He’s underwriting The New Group‘s world premiere of Black No More.Continue Reading
Broadway is usually a risky business — but the remount of Waitress looks like an excellent bet.
Pop star Sara Bareilles, who wrote the musical’s acclaimed score, will return to the lead role for the first six weeks of the four-month engagement, scheduled to begin Sept. 2 at the Barrymore Theatre. And the U.S. Small Business Administration has awarded the production $10 million as part of its disaster relief program for the live entertainment industry.Continue Reading
EXCLUSIVE: For the first time in more than three years, Broadway’s biggest blockbuster is opening its doors to bus tours, schools from out of town and other groups.
Beginning on Monday, Hamilton offers group sales for performances from Jan. 7 to June 4, 2020, according to a memo the production sent to group sales agents that was obtained by Broadway Journal.
EXCLUSIVE: In competitive Tony Awards contests, can producers who vote for their own shows have an outsized impact? Apparently.
I obtained a list of voters in the 2017-18 season — which I’m told is largely current — and cross-referenced it with names above the title of this year’s Best Musical nominees.
I counted 17 Tootsie producers and co-producers who were eligible to vote, 16 on Ain’t Too Proud, 12 on Hadestown and nine on The Prom. With just 831 voters, those margins aren’t negligible. Continue Reading
Pulitzer Prize-winning collaborators Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey have a new musical that airs tonight on the Disney Channel.
They say their adaptation of Mary Rodgers’ 1972 novel Freaky Friday, the mother-daughter body swapping comedy, isn’t so different from Next to Normal, their acclaimed rock musical that explores mental illness. Both pieces seek to convey emotional truths.Continue Reading
LAST OF A SERIES: When the cast of Hamilton visited the White House on March 14, 2016, President Obama joked that the musical was the only thing that he and Dick Cheney agreed on.
The excursion was a PR coup at a bargain price. It cost just $85,000, according to a financial statement filed with New York State by Hamilton Uptown LLC, which presents the juggernaut on Broadway. That’s a fraction of what a production spends to stage a single number on the Tony Awards. Hamilton Uptown bused the cast to Washington and put them up overnight, but they weren’t paid extra to perform on their day off, according to three people familiar with the trip.
Actors were told their attendance was optional. A White House gig is traditionally an honor, and this one yielded wall-to-wall news coverage and YouTube videos that have been viewed more than 23 million times. A production spokesman declined to comment.Continue Reading
SECOND IN A SERIES: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop juggernaut is the first single-author show to win a Tony Award for best new musical since Jonathan Larson’s Rent, in 1996. With no writing partner to share the mammoth royalties and profits, the 38-year-old composer-lyricist-librettist and actor stands to earn hundreds of millions of dollars should Hamilton have a long life.
Miranda amassed $12.7 million in author royalties and profit participation from the Broadway production in the 12 months ending in July 2017, according to a production financial statement filed with the office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. That’s more than the $11.6 million median annual compensation for a large-company chief executive, based on a recent Wall Street Journal analysis.
PART ONE OF A SERIES: Nearly three years after storming Broadway, Hamilton remains unrivaled in its moneymaking.
The original production, which began previews at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in July 2015, distributed more than $102 million of profit through November 2017, according to documents filed with New York State. A Chicago engagement and tour that started in San Francisco paid out another $62 million through July 2017.
“Even after adjusting for inflation, it’s hard to imagine a show churning out profits the way this one is,” said Jeffrey Eric Jenkins, a producer and theater professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
We estimate that profits to-date for the Hamilton empire, which now has outposts in London and a second tour in Salt Lake City, exceed $250 million. Lead producer Jeffrey Seller declined to comment for this series through a spokesman, Sam Rudy.Continue Reading
EXCLUSIVE: Hamilton, the Broadway blockbuster endorsed by the president and first lady, has repaid its investors.
Two people with direct knowledge of the musical’s finances confirmed that it recouped its $12.5 million capitalization. Normally, producers announce when a show breaks even, but Hamilton, “the hardest ticket to get on the planet,” as Michelle Obama put it, has little to prove. Since recouping it’s already begun distributing profits, according to one production source. Reached by phone Friday morning, Sam Rudy, a spokesman for the show said: “I’m not aware that we’ve recouped,” adding that he would check with the producers.