Charlotte St. Martin, who’s led the Broadway League trade association since 2006, will step down on Feb. 16. The sudden departure occurs amid an industry changing of the guard as Broadway struggles to recover from the pandemic and respond to calls for greater diversity.Continue Reading
Producers are working on two high-profile additions to the busy 2023-24 Broadway season: Stereophonic, an ecstatically reviewed play with music about a fictional mid-1970s rock band creating an album; and The Great Gatsby via Paper Mill Playhouse, one of two Broadway-bound musicals based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Roaring ’20s novel.
John Johnson, Sue Wagner and Greg Nobile are in discussions to move Stereophonic to the John Golden Theatre, following a sold-out, two-and-a-half-month run at Playwrights Horizons off-Broadway, people familiar with the plans said. Continue Reading
After opening red hot in October 2019, Little Shop of Horrors at the Westside Theatre had a rough second half of 2022.
Box office sales fell short of the revival’s $180,000 to $200,000-a-week running costs in 27 of the final 31 weeks of the year. Operating losses for Alan Menken and Howard Ashman’s plant-based off-Broadway musical comedy, set in a Skid Row flower shop, totaled $734,000 over the seven months ended Jan. 1, 2023.
Such shortfalls can lead to closing notices. Instead, the producers distributed $1.2 million of profit to themselves, their investors and co-producers. That was on top of $1.9 million of profit paid out over the previous 15 months.Continue Reading
The Broadway musical comedy Some Like it Hot will close on Dec. 30, just over a year after the $19.5 million show opened. Producers emailed a closing notice tonight.
The lavish adaptation of the 1959 Billy Wilder movie was nominated for 13 Tony Awards and won four, including for lead actor J. Harrison Ghee and Casey Nicholaw’s choreography. But Hot is burdened with formidable running costs — it needs to sell at least $900,000 of tickets a week to pay its bills (that’s the published gross, or “gross gross”), according to a 2021 recoupment chart reviewed by Broadway Journal. It met that threshold in just 14 of its 47 weeks at the Shubert Theatre. Continue Reading
New York State extended the New York City Musical and Theatrical Production Tax Credit, a subsidy of up to $3 million per Broadway show, as the industry struggles with rising costs and subpar sales.
On May 3, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the two-year extension through 2025 and said commercial Off-Broadway shows will also be eligible, albeit for a smaller credit. The Broadway League trade association lobbied for preserving the program. It was designed to jumpstart the industry, which contributes billions to the economy, and encourage productions “to begin performances sooner and come back stronger” as the city recovered from Covid-19.Continue Reading
The $19.5 million crowd-pleaser Some Like it Hot was nominated for 13 Tony Awards today, the most of any Broadway show this season. In six of the past 10 Tony races, the musical that got the most nominations won the high-profile best musical award.
But a less encouraging trend could derail the Shubert Organization-produced show — which was also nominated for lead actors Christian Borle and J. Harrison Ghee, and for Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman’s toe-tapping score. Eight of the past 10 best musical winners were smallish and experimental — a la A Strange Loop (2022), Hadestown (2019), and, potentially, Kimberly Akimbo.Continue Reading
By their own account, the founders of the Broadway Strategic Return Fund turned an overlooked investment niche into a bonanza.
Hunter Arnold, John Joseph and Curt Cronin established their hedge fund in January 2016 to invest in U.S. and U.K. live theater productions, plus tours, cast recordings and other ancillary businesses. With “few professional investors participating through a highly organized and disciplined investment process,” the fund’s Sept. 30, 2021 Due Diligence Questionnaire said, the founders believe “there is an untapped opportunity for outsized profits.”
The year-old marketing document declared, “$100,000 invested at [the] fund opening is currently valued at $416,280.” That’s double the rate of return of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index over the same period — a remarkable result for an industry in which roughly 80 percent of commercial theater productions fail to fully repay their investors, let alone turn a profit.Continue Reading
People who need to see Lea Michele play Fanny Brice on Broadway are the luckiest people.
Lead producers Sonia Friedman, Scott Landis and David Babani announced today the Glee star is replacing Beanie Feldstein in Funny Girl beginning Sept. 6 at the August Wilson Theatre. Standby Julie Benko will play the lead Aug. 2 to Sept. 4 and for all Thursday evening performances starting on Sept. 8.Continue Reading
More than three decades after the chandelier first plunged at Phantom of the Opera and a helicopter flew out of Miss Saigon, a souped-up DeLorean will star in a planned Broadway transfer of the Olivier Award-winning musical Back to the Future.
Producer Colin Ingram is in talks to bring a big-budget adaptation of the 1985 Michael J. Fox blockbuster to a Shubert house next summer, people familiar with the London hit said. Last week, Ingram filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission to raise $23.5 million for the Broadway production. Co-producers of the show on the West End, which has been running for nine months and recently extended to February 2023, include the Frankel-Baruch-Viertel-Routh group, Hunter Arnold and Gavin Kalin — all familiar names around the Main Stem.Continue Reading
Two musicals in the past half-century have been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for drama before they were up for Tony Awards: Rent in 1996 and Hamilton in 2016. Both went on to win the Tony for best musical.
While statistically insignificant, that’s encouraging for A Strange Loop, Michael R. Jackson’s idiosyncratic meditation about a young black gay man writing a musical, which won a Pulitzer in 2020.Continue Reading