Bloomberg the Company & Products

Bloomberg Anywhere Login

Bloomberg

Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.

Company

Financial Products

Enterprise Products

Media

Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000

Communications

Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Baldwin Flaccid on Broadway, Love Goes to Midler, Hanks

'Pippin'
Matthew James Thomas in the title role of "Pippin." The play interweaves circus acrobatics performed by members of the Montreal-based troupe Les 7 Doigts de la Main. Photographer: Joan Marcus/Boneau/Bryan-Brown via Bloomberg

April 30 (Bloomberg) -- The Virgin Mary, Snow White, Jack Donaghy and a sober Texan all had a tough go of it on Broadway last week, as plays and even some musicals struggled in the final days before the deadline for Tony Awards nominations.

The annual rash of spring openings, as producers jammed the schedule, ended April 25. The Tony nominees, in what promises to be the most hotly contested awards season in years, will be announced Tuesday morning.

An audience-pleasing, circus-themed revival of “Pippin” opened to mixed-to-positive notices. But the musical still filled every seat at the Music Box Theatre, selling $717,712 worth of tickets at an average price of $89.70.

“Motown: The Musical,” another newcomer that had some critics tied up in knots, continues to wow audiences, selling $1,213,611 worth of tickets and filling the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre to capacity.

Both “Matilda” and “Kinky Boots” -- the likely front runners for Best Musical nominations, played to full houses.

All figures were provided by the Broadway League, the trade group for Broadway theater owners and producers.

‘Mormon’ Rules

But the musical to beat, if measured by scarcity and customer willingness to spend top dollar, remained “The Book of Mormon,” averaging $191.45 per ticket and totaling $1,675,558 in sales. In larger theaters, “Wicked” ($123.20 per ticket) and “The Lion King” ($137.46 per ticket) took in $1,735,066 and $1,864,611, respectively.

With a few notable exceptions, non-musicals went looking for audiences.

Tom Hanks’s extended run as journalist Mike McAlary in “Lucky Guy” continues to sell out the Broadhurst Theater, with tickets going for an average of $146.35 and a box office total of $1,384,178. That’s 22 percent more than its potential because of premium pricing.

Bette Midler, whose solo show about pot-loving Hollywood agent and gossipeuse Sue Mengers, “I’ll Eat You Last,” opened to a number of oddly rave reviews and was Standing Room Only, with tickets averaging $116.06.

Extraordinary reviews for Fiona Shaw as the Virgin Mary in the solo show “The Testament of Mary” and Cicely Tyson, returning to Broadway after a 30-year absence, in a revival of “The Trip to Bountiful” couldn’t convince theatergoers to see serious plays. The shows played to quarter- and -half-filled houses respectively.

Snow White

Alec Baldwin wasn’t proving much of a draw at the critically bashed “Orphans” and Sigourney Weaver, who vamps as Snow White in the much praised “Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike,” also straggled at the box office.

So did “Ann,” Holland Taylor’s solo gig as former Texas Governor Ann Richards, which played to less than half-filled houses at the Vivian Beaumont. Alan Cumming’s crazy one-man “Macbeth” played to respectable houses about 80 percent full.

Total box office sales were $24,586,124, with attendance down nearly 16 percent over the same week one year ago. Overall attendance for the season to date was 10.6 million people, down 5.3 percent from a year ago.

Muse highlights include movies and books.

To contact the writer of this column: Jeremy Gerard in New York at jgerard2@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

Please upgrade your Browser

Your browser is out-of-date. Please download one of these excellent browsers:

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.