PRESS RELEASE: THE BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, whose alumni include Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez (Frozen) and Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal), is accepting applications through the end of day on Friday, August 4, for its first-year composer and lyricist class.
It was a tough seven days on Broadway — except for Dear Evan Hansen and a few perennial tourist draws.
With July 4 falling on a Tuesday and many locals away, Hello, Dolly!, A Bronx Tale, War Paint and Beautiful all had their worst sales of the year, according to data from the Broadway League.
Groundhog Day and Waitress, now starring Betsy Wolfe, were near their post-opening lows, and Indecent, which was scheduled to close June 25 and instead extended to August 6, was at just over a third of its gross potential, at $334,000.Continue Reading
There’s nothing like a closing notice to get playgoers’ attention. Sustaining that isn’t easy.
Indecent grosses soared 60 percent to $606,000 last week, according to data from the Broadway League. It was by far the best week for Paula Vogel’s historical drama — about the controversial 1923 Broadway production of God of Vengeance — since it began previews in April.
Indecent had announced a Sunday, June 25, closing, but late on Thursday, June 22, lead producer Daryl Roth said she was inspired by the sales surge to rescind her decision and run it until August 6. Restarting a box office, with no advance sales, is challenging. A quick check of Telecharge suggests wide availability for this week.Continue Reading
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.
Eric Falkenstein, who helped finance the nonprofit Manhattan Theatre Club revival of August Wilson’s Jitney, is trying to give it another life on Broadway in a commercial production.
“There are a lot of producers who say they want to jump on board,” Falkenstein said in a brief interview a day before it won the Tony Award for best revival of a play.
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.
“Like Christmas Day and sex with supermodels, Broadway seasons are often far more exciting during the anticipation stage.” So began Jess Cagle’s December 1997 review of Broadway’s The Lion King in Entertainment Weekly. (He gave it an A+).
Two decades later, Cagle, 51, is editor-in-chief of People; editorial director of Time Inc.’s Style and Entertainment Group, which includes EW, In Style and Essence; and his conversations with actors, directors and other celebrities — known as The Jess Cagle Interview — are distributed by Sirius XM. We spoke on May 16. Edited excerpts follow:
EXCLUSIVE: The producers of Rebecca aren’t giving up on their four-and-a-half-year campaign to force their former press agent to pay for the musical’s collapse.
Rebecca Broadway Limited Partnership, led by Ben Sprecher and Louise Forlenza, requested a New York judge throw out last month’s $85,000 jury award for wrongful interference against publicist Marc Thibodeau. Sprecher and Forlenza originally sought at least $10.6 million. Their lawyer, Erik Groothuis, said in a court filing that the jury picked $85,000 “from thin air.”
Broadway producers and investors made the brave decision to present several new plays without stars this past season.
Audiences haven’t followed. Grosses for straight plays (non-musicals) tumbled 15 percent in the 12 months ending on Sunday, after plunging 27 percent the previous season, according to statistics out today from the Broadway League. At $154 million, it was the lowest-grossing season for plays in at least six years.