Many winners at Radio City Music Hall on June 11 had their bestselling weeks to-date after being recognized for achievement and, in the case of musicals, making the most of the international platform to present songs from their shows.
ANALYSIS: The 71st annual Tony Awards opened with Kevin Spacey as Evan Hansen in a goofy polo shirt and cast around his left arm. The ceremony ended moments after an acceptance speech by Dear Evan Hansen‘s producer.
In between there was suspense aplenty at Radio City Music Hall. While Dear Evan Hansen, about a socially anxious teenager caught up in web of lies, was methodically collecting awards, including for score and book, Come From Away won for director, Christopher Ashley. That win raised the tantalizing possibility of an upset by the feel-good musical set in a remote Canadian province after 9/11. Ultimately, Evan Hansen prevailed in a historic night.
On Sunday, the Tonys — a joint venture of the American Theatre Wing and Broadway League — is seeking to end the practice of dozens of producers rushing the stage at Radio City Music Hall when their show wins. Just six producers will be permitted onstage to accept each major award — for play, musical and play and musical revival — according to an email from League President Charlotte St. Martin and Tony Award Productions that was obtained by Broadway Journal.
One of the season’s most anticipated musical revivals, the Scott Rudin-produced Hello, Dolly!, got off to a fast start in Broadway’s top-selling and best-attended week of the year.
The show grossed $1.4 million in five previews, according to the Broadway League. Both its $750 top seat and $196 average ticket were second only to Hamilton: An American Musical, which has an $849 top ticket and $267 average last week. The numbers confirm that Dolly!, with Midler singing on Broadway for the first time since Bette! Divine Madness in 1979, is on track to be the top-grossing new production of the spring. The classic last appeared on Broadway two decades ago, with Carol Channing reprising a role she played repeatedly on Broadway and on tour.
Introduced after runaway advance sales, it’s the biggest price ever for a musical revival. As of a few weeks ago, Dolly’s costliest ticket on Telecharge or at the box office was $425. But like Hamilton, it’s exploding on the resale market. Prime Dolly tickets on StubHub exceed $2,000, with seventh row center offered for over $5,000, with fees.
EXCLUSIVE: While expanding Broadway’s boundaries, Scott Rudin is reining in his investors.
The daring and powerful producer is requiring backers to sign away their right to criticize him and the plays and musicals that they’re capitalizing. The unusual provision appears in recent prospectuses obtained by Broadway Journal. It prohibits investors from making “negative remarks orally or in writing in any medium,” including social media, about him, his show or his business practices.
EXCLUSIVE: The first investor non-disparagement clause we found was for the Scott Rudin-produced revival of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. (Click on the text for easier 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.