Nineteen new musicals and revivals have opened or are scheduled to open through April 27, the cut-off for Tony Award eligibility. That’s the biggest tally since 1980-81, according to the Broadway League. If all 19 arrive, 2016-17 will have the most musicals since Ronald Reagan was first sworn in as President.
Without an early Hamilton-scale blockbuster, the competition for theatergoers and Tony Awards should be robust. There are constraints on how much demand can rise to meet supply. In recent seasons, about 15 percent of all seats have gone unsold. The average musical customer sees just four a year, according to the Broadway League’s demographic study, regardless of how many are playing. And of the 13 new musicals this season, five at most will be nominated for best musical and guaranteed a performance slot on the Tony telecast in June.