For the first time in two years, the Broadway League publicly reported grosses for each show. Although the industry and the world have changed in the interim, one thing hasn’t: stars sell tickets.Continue Reading
What started as an existential crisis for Broadway’s nonprofit producers turned into a windfall.
Thanks to a resurgent but fickle stock market, insurance payouts, cost-cutting and emergency grants from the federal government and foundations in response to Covid-19, Lincoln Center Theater and Roundabout Theatre Co. emerged from the 18-month industry shutdown wealthier than when they entered it.Continue Reading
If MJ The Musical becomes a box office sensation, Paris Jackson, Bigi Jackson, Prince Jackson and the executors of their father’s estate stand to enjoy a bonanza.
Typically, half of a Broadway show’s adjusted net profit is shared among the lead producers. The other half goes to investors, who also qualify for some lead producer profits by raising or investing large sums. On MJ, however, “the entire 50% share of Adjusted Net Profits [due the lead producers] will be paid to the Estate,” according to an investor operating agreement obtained by Broadway Journal.Continue Reading
The self-described “world’s No. 1 live theater company” has taken a drubbing.
The parent company of U.K.-based Ambassador Theatre Group reported a pretax loss of $202 million for the 12 months ended in March 2021. The holding company attributed the results to Covid-19, which decimated rental income when its theaters shuttered in March 2020.Continue Reading
Stephen Sondheim’s death on Friday morning — an unexpected loss to the people in his life and to musical theater — attaches a new significance to the third Broadway revival of 1970’s Company. The musical, which marked the beginning of Sondheim’s decade-long collaboration with director Hal Prince, is now the last production that Broadway’s most revered composer-lyricist of the past 50 years directly worked on.Continue Reading
March 2020 ushered in a three-ring crisis for the Equity-League Health Trust Fund, the healthcare plan for theater actors and stage managers.
As the industry shut down indefinitely in response to Covid-19, the fund’s biggest revenue source, employer contributions, largely dried up; its stocks plunged amid a pandemic-induced market crash; and actors and stage managers lost their livelihood. In response, the trustees overseeing the fund’s investments sold all of its publicly traded stock, which as of May 31, 2020 was valued at $25 million, or 23 percent of total net assets of $107 million.
As a result, the fund missed most of a stock market rebound that would’ve generated millions of dollars. The liquidation may slow the fund’s recovery from the shutdown — at a time when few Actors’ Equity Association members, its primary constituency, qualify for even basic coverage and Broadway grosses are off by a third from two years ago.Continue Reading
The following is the complete statement from the Equity-league Health Trust Fund, attributed to its trustees, in response to questions from Broadway Journal. A spokesman emailed it in August.Continue Reading
More than two years after opening on Broadway, Moulin Rouge! won 10 Tony Awards and became the first big-budget best musical winner since 2009. The pandemic-delayed ceremony celebrated the return of the industry and explored its uneven efforts to diversify and become more inclusive.Continue Reading
Five months after announcing that he would “step back from active participation” on his Broadway shows, producer Scott Rudin is still negotiating the terms of his exit from his biggest hit, The Book of Mormon, a person familiar with the situation told Broadway Journal.
Rudin is battling his former partners, the South Park creative team of Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who with their business associate Anne Garefino are the remaining lead producers of The Book of Mormon. (London-based producer Sonia Friedman is also heavily involved in the U.K edition of the musical, which Parker and Stone wrote with composer-lyricist Bobby Lopez.) Continue Reading