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Broadway Box Office: ‘If/Then’ Bounces Back; ‘Mice And Men’ Takes $1M Bow

By | Monday July 28, 2014 @ 12:43pm PDT

Broadway Box Office: ‘If/Then’ Bounces Back; ‘Mice And Men’ Takes $1M BowThe Idina Menzel showcase If/Then bounced back last week after a slight dip, posting $822,516 in sales for the week ending Sunday, a $49,000 rebound according to box office figures released Monday afternoon by the trade group Broadway League. That was two-thirds of its gross potential at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, and attendance was good, at Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 4.52.15 PM88.5 % of capacity for the 1,311-seat house. Pippin recovered a bit as well, increasing $49,756 to $676,450 and filling 97% of the seats at the Music Box.

Image (2) Broadway-sign__121204013651-275x148.jpg for post 509154Overall, the box office was off a bit, by 3%, from the week before: $27,038,224 for week 9 of the season versus $27,867,272 during Week 8. Most of that dip could be attributed to the return to eight performances following a week of niners by The Book Of Mormon and The Lion King.

Related: Broadway’s Shubert Organization Netted $35M For Air; Now It’s Heading Underground

Of Mice And Men finished its run well in the black and breaking the house record one final time at the Longace, topping $1 million at $1,038,106, up more than $108,000 from the week before. Cast and crew return Tuesday night  to film the show for later broadcast by National Theatre Live.

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Broadway’s Shubert Organization Netted $35M For Air; Now It’s Heading Underground

By | Friday July 25, 2014 @ 1:25pm PDT

Broadway’s Shubert Organization Netted $35M For Air; Now It’s Heading UndergroundEXCLUSIVE: Why did the Shubert Organization, which owns 17 of Broadway‘s 40 designated theaters, sign off on a deal to buy New World Stages, the five-theater underground off-Broadway complex owned by Dutch entertainment mogul Joop van den Ende? Sources tell me the answer has nothing to do with the arts and everything to do with real estate — along with the unique, not to say wacky, world according to Shubert, a $410 million nonprofit that coincidentally owns the most powerful commercial theater company in the U.S.

The company, whose Image (3) GerardColumn_badge__140512224655-150x150.png for post 735293theaters housed Les MiserablesA Chorus Line, CatsFiddler On The Roof, Amadeus and countless other legendary shows, has been Broadway’s reigning landlord for nearly a century. In recent years, the Shubert Organization has sold air rights above its landmarked Times Square theaters to the tune of $50 million. This spring, the Witkoff Group, a building consortium, paid $18.3 million for 45,000 square feet of air above the Shubert-owned Booth and Gerald Schoenfeld Theatres on West 45th Street. That deal will allow Witkoff’s project, the Times Square Marriott Edition hotel at 701 Seventh Avenue, to grow to 500 feet high.
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Broadway’s ‘Mamma Mia!’ Launches Video Promos With Lego Show

By | Friday July 25, 2014 @ 7:57am PDT

Broadway’s ‘Mamma Mia!’ Launches Video Promos With Lego ShowThirteen years old and still selling well at Broadway‘s Broadhurst Theatre, Mamma Mia! has launched a new video series to promote the show with a nod to its major market, out-of-towners. MAMMA MIA!’s Guide To NYC will showcase art exhibitions, dining, shopping, et cetera, with the help of the show’s stars. The smoothly produced debut episode, with the show’s Lauren Cohn, takes in Art of the Brick. No, it’s not about the iconic downtown music and performance space. It’s a plug for the (admittedly amazing) Lego art installation at Discovery Times Square, which just coincidentally happens to be across the street from the Broadhurst. Watch:

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Wayne Brady Makes Deal For ‘Kiss Me, Kate’ At Pasadena Playhouse

By | Thursday July 24, 2014 @ 2:48pm PDT

Wayne Brady Makes Deal For ‘Kiss Me, Kate’ At Pasadena Playhouse

Let’s Make A Deal host Wayne Brady will star with Merle Dandridge (Spamalot) in the Pasadena Playhouse season opener, a revival of Cole Porter’s 1951 Shakespeare-inspired romp, Kiss Me, Kate. The tuner (“Too Darn Hot,” “Brush Up Your Shakespeare,” “Another Op’nin’, Another Show”) will run from September 16 through October 12, with the press opening on September 21.

The Pasadena Playhouse production, staged by longtime artistic director Sheldon Epps, “will view the work through a new lens to showcase the trailblazing African-American actors and entertainers of the early 20th century,” according to a statement from the group.

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 5.40.11 PMFor this quintessential backstage musical revolving around a production of the Bard of Avon’s The Taming Of The Shrew, Brady will play the dual roles of actor Fred/character Petruchio opposite the actress Lily/character Kate of Dandridge, best known for her Broadway turn as the Lady of the Lake in the Mike Nichols production of Spamalot.

Brady first came to notice on  the improv show Whose Line Is It Anyway? for which he won an Emmy and two nominations. The Wayne Brady Show brought two more Emmys, for Outstanding Talk Show Host. Other TV credits include The Dave Chappelle Show and 30 Rock. Brady was Grammy nominated for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance for “A Change Is Gonna Come” from his debut musical album, A Long Time Coming.

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London Critics Heart ‘Shakespeare In Love’; NY Times Not So Much

By | Thursday July 24, 2014 @ 9:03am PDT

London Critics Heart ‘Shakespeare In Love’; NY Times Not So MuchThe stage adaptation of Oscar winner Shakespeare In Love has opened at London’s Noel Coward Theatre to raves from many of the UK critics but a big ho-hum from the New York Times‘s Ben Brantley, which could throw a wet blanket over plans for a Broadway transfer by co-producers Disney and Sonia Friedman.

“I’ve often attacked our modern mania for turning movies into plays. But, in the case of Shakespeare In Love, the transformation is fully justified,” wrote Michael Billington in The Guardian. “Even more than the original screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard, Lee Hall’s new version is a love letter to theatre itself, and one that celebrates the way magic and mystery are born out of chaos and confusion.”

“Screen to stage transfers are so frequent and mostly catchpenny and cynical that the prospect of yet another tends to fill a critic’s heart with dread,” wrote Paul Taylor in The Independent. “But here there’s the elating sense that the material – with its rivalry between two public playhouses echoing the feud between the Montagues and Capulets – is revelling in its natural element in the theatre. And the smartest move made by the producers was to hire director Declan Donnellan and designer Nick Ormerod, the world-renowned Cheek By Jowl team whose profound understanding of Shakespearean drama (its dazzling fluidity; its blithe refusal to respect the “rules” of genre; its mood-mingling suppleness) enriches a production that is filled … Read More »

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Heather Graham Signs On For Neil LaBute’s ‘The Money Shot’

By | Thursday July 24, 2014 @ 8:23am PDT

Heather Graham Signs On For Neil LaBute’s  ‘The Money Shot’Heather Graham, absent from the New York stage since 2003′s Recent Tragic Events at Playwrights Horizons, will return to off-Broadway next month to star in the world premiere of Neil LaBute‘s new play, The Money Shot, directed by Terry Kinney. The play is the season opener at Bernard Telsey and Robert LuPone’s MCC Theater, which operates at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in Greenwich Village. Performances begin September 4, with an official opening on September 22 for a limited run slated to end October 12. LaBute is MCC’s Playwright-In-Residence.

171654192Graham (Boogie Nights, Drugstore Cowboy, etc.) co-stars with Gia Crovatin, Callie Thorne and Frederick Weller. In The Money Shot, Karen (Graham) and Steve (Weller) are formerly glamorous movie stars desperate for a hit. Will it be the latest movie by a hot shot European director? The night before filming a big scene guaranteed to make news, Karen, her partner Bev (Thorne), Steve, and his aspiring actress wife Missy (Crovatin) meet to discuss how far will they will go to reclaim past glory.

The Money Shot reunites LaBute with Kinney (Reasons To Be Pretty). Co-Artistic Director of MCC Theater, Will Cantler said, “This is our ninth collaboration with our Playwright-in-Residence, and this time he’s delivered everything we expect in a Neil LaBute play, and funnier — with a wrestling match.  We can’t wait to bring this play to life with this great cast and reunite Neil with director Terry Kinney.”

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‘Mice’ Roar More: James Franco, Chris O’Dowd & Co. Will Get ‘NT Live’ Broadcasts

‘Mice’ Roar More: James Franco, Chris O’Dowd & Co. Will Get ‘NT Live’ BroadcastsProducer David Binder, juggling the smash success of two star-driven Broadway revivals — Hedwig And The Angry Inch and Of Mice And Men — added another arrow to his quiver of successful producing tips this morning by announcing a deal has been struck making the Steinbeck drama, starring James Franco, Chris O’Dowd, Leighton Meester and Jim Norton, the first Broadway show to be filmed for telecast under the wing of the UK’s National Theatre Live.

The deal was made in a flurry of activity over the last several days, Wayne Wolfe, a spokesman for the show, told Deadline, including securing the OKs of Broadway’s particularly protective unions. Read More »

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Woody Allen’s ‘Bullets Over Broadway’ Closing Next Month

By | Tuesday July 22, 2014 @ 8:10pm PDT

Woody Allen’s ‘Bullets Over Broadway’ Closing Next MonthUPDATE: Bullets Over Broadway will close at almost a complete loss of its $15 million-plus capitalization. Here’s the second announcement in a week about a movie-to-Main Stem musical closing. Six days after news surfaced that Rocky The Musical was KO’d comes word that Bullets Over Broadway will go dark August 24. The show, based on Woody Allen’s 1994 film comedy about an idealistic playwright who gets entangled with gangsters in order to see his high-minded play produced on Broadway, will lose most, if not all, of its $15-million-plus capitalization. It also represents the second costly demise, after Big Fish, of a musical from last season that arrived with high expectations based not only on its film pedigree but on the previous record of director-choregrapher Susan Stroman (Contact; The Producers).

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 11.05.34 PMBut the great-looking, slickly produced, high-energy tuner failed to garner the necessary rave reviews and theatergoer buzz despite a name star (Zach Braff) and six Tony nominations. Last week, an almost universally upbeat one on Broadway, Bullets took in $686,693, equal to just 45 percent of its gross potential, at the St. James Theatre box office. That probably didn’t cover its weekly operating expenses.

Related: Hugh Jackman Hippity-Hops Through CBS’ Ruthlessly Upbeat All-Star Tony Show

The show will have played 156 performances since opening April 10 after 33 previews. In addition to Braff, it starred Helene Yorke as the talent-free girlfriend of … Read More »

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Broadway Box Office: Summer Heats Up As ‘Lion’ Hits $2.4M, ‘Mice’ Breaks House Record At $929,000

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 12:47pm PDT

Broadway Box Office: Summer Heats Up As ‘Lion’ Hits $2.4M, ‘Mice’ Breaks House Record At $929,000Disney’s inexhaustible Lion King continued to roar last week, ringing up $2.43 million in ticket sales at the 1,700-seat Minskoff Theatre as Broadway jumped $2.23 million over the week before. Total receipts were $27,867, 272 for 29 shows for the week ending Sunday, as the Street bid farewell to Holler If Ya Hear Me and The Cripple Of Inishmaan. Both of those shows benefited from theatergoers knowing it was their final chance before bye-bye, translating into increases of $112,037 for Holler and $144,081 for Daniel Radcliffe’s Cripple, per figures released by the Broadway League trade group.

"What If" Screening - 2014 New York Film Critics SeriesAs reported earlier, several shows broke house records: At the Longacre, James Franco and Chris O’Dowd whipped Of Mice And Men up to $929,343, an increase of $66,481 over the week before. Hedwig And The Angry Inch  broke the Belasco house record for the fifth time, ringing up $1,088,660 in sales, a slight increase over the week before. And Beautiful: The Carole King Musical jumped $46,627 to $1,300,153 at the Sondheim.

Only one show posted a decline: If/Then, the Idina Menzel starrer, was off $27,115, to $773,533, about 60% of its gross potential at the Richard Rodgers and not a great sign for the rest of the summer. Longterm survivor Phantom Of The Opera was up an impressive $137,410 to $1,114,417 at the Majestic; Kinky Boots kicked up … Read More »

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The ‘Mice’ That Roared: Franco, O’Dowd, Meester Sets Broadway House Record; ‘Beautiful’ Too

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 8:51am PDT

The ‘Mice’ That Roared: Franco, O’Dowd, Meester Sets Broadway House Record; ‘Beautiful’ TooUPDATE: Beautiful: The Carole King Musical grossed $1.3 million, breaking the house record at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre for the 12th time in 36 weeks of performances.

Proving their chops as Broadway draws, James Franco, Chris O’Dowd, Leighton Meester and Jim Norton set a second house record last week as their run in the revival of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice And Men comes to a close. The show grossed $929,888 for the week ending July 20, breaking its previous record of $897,851.00 for the week ending April 27. The show, which opened on April 16 at the Longacre Theatre and recouped its $3.8 million capitalization after 12 weeks, ends its limited run this Sunday.

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 11.08.51 AMThe success of Mice, staged by Anna D. Shapiro, underscores the value of smart marketing, stalwart producing and, essentially, great word-of-mouth, all of which urged the show — hardly your typical breezy summer fare — to must-see status. The producers are David Binder, Kate Lear, Darren Bagert, Adam Zotovich, Latitude Link/Piedmont Productions, Raise the Roof, Paula Marie Black, Marc Turtletaub, Ruth Hendel/Barbara Whitman, Marianne Mills/Jayne Baron Sherman, Martin Massman, Judy Kent/Wendy Knudsen, Kevin Niu, Michael Watt and The Shubert Organization. 101 Productions, Ltd are the executive producers.

More Broadway box office news will come this afternoon.

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Bert Berns, The Rock Phenom You Never Heard Of, Finally Gets His Due

By | Sunday July 20, 2014 @ 6:20pm PDT

Bert Berns, The Rock Phenom You Never Heard Of, Finally Gets His DueJukebox musicals are the guilty pleasures of Broadway and, ever more frequently, off-Broadway, offering well-heeled patrons the joys of nostalgia and the reassuring sense that the songs we grew up on were classics worthy of revisiting. How else to account for the extraordinary popularity of Jersey Boys, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Motown: The Musical, The Million Dollar Quartet, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Mamma Mia! and Rock Of Ages (not to metion the good, if less successful Holler If Ya Hear Me and A Night With Janis Joplin)? Piece Of My Heart: The Bert Berns Story, which opened Sunday night on 42nd Street, is a bargain-basement jukebox musical as entertaining as the best of those shows.

But it’s also on an evangelical mission: To make the case that Bert Berns has a rightful place in the pantheon of American rock-music writing legends that includes Goffin and King, Leiber and Stoller, Holland-Dozier-Holland, Bacharach and David, Mann and Weil, and Barry and Greenwich.

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Shubert CEO Phil Smith Says B’way Biggie Will Buy Off-Broadway `Mall’

By | Saturday July 19, 2014 @ 10:15am PDT

Shubert CEO Phil Smith Says B’way Biggie Will Buy Off-Broadway `Mall’EXCLUSIVE: Shubert Organization chairman and CEO Philip J. Smith confirmed the deal by Broadway’s biggest landlord to purchase New World Stages, an off-Broadway complex on West 50th Street just outside the Broadway theater district. ”I would say, ‘Yes, it it’s going to happen,’ ” Smith told Deadline.com when asked about a report in the New York Times speculating on the sale. “I can’t say when, but it will happen.” He declined to say how much Shubert would pay for New World.

163112349Comprising five grotto houses ranging in size from 199 to 499 seats, New World is owned by Dutch entertainment mogul Joop van den Ende’s Stage Entertainment, currently lead producer of the musical Rocky, which is set to close in August at the Shubert-owned Winter Garden Theatre. Van den Ende’s involvement in New Workd goes back to a co-production arrangement his former company, Endemol, had with New York-based Dodger Theatricals. It was the Dodgers who took over the former discount-movie theaters after they went out of business in 2001. The Dodgers spent $23 million converting the space into a “theater mall” with a total of more than 1,900 seats, three bars and more restroom space than many Broadway theaters. Read More »

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Hot Video: First Look At ‘Shakespeare In Love’ On Stage In London

By | Friday July 18, 2014 @ 1:21pm PDT

Hot Video: First Look At ‘Shakespeare In Love’ On Stage In LondonThe Oscar-winning film has been adapted for the stage by Lee Hall (Billy Elliot) from the screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard. A co-production of Disney and Sonia Friedman Productions, the show is currently previewing at London’s Noel Coward Theatre and opening on July 23. The cast of 28 and a dog is directed by Declan Donnellan and the romantic comedy has been designed by Nick Ormerod. Look for a Broadway transfer in the not-too-distant future.

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New York Minute: Post-’Holler’ Palace Books ‘Paris’; Rte. 57 Revisited; James Franco Directs

By | Thursday July 17, 2014 @ 2:20pm PDT

New York Minute: Post-’Holler’ Palace Books ‘Paris’; Rte. 57 Revisited; James Franco DirectsIt didn’t take long for the Nederlander Organization to fill the gap at the Palace Theatre left by the soon-to-depart Holler If Ya Hear Me. As Deadline reported previously, the producers of An American In Paris — the musical with old Gershwin songs and new everything else, including staging and dances by superstar choreographer Christopher Wheeldon and a book by Craig Lucas (Prelude To  Kiss) — were hoping to firm up a transfer even before the show opens in the City of Light in November.

With many of Broadway’s premiere houses locked in with long-running shows, it’s a seller’s market and most theaters have prospective tenants lined up three-deep, circling weaker shows and waiting to pounce. So while the Shuberts pick and choose the next tenant for the Winter Garden, where Rocky will soon close up shop (a possible plus for Harvey Weinstein, who is looking for Finding Neverland possibly to land there after its upcoming tryout at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, MA) and Jason Robert Brown’s Honeymoon In Vegas booked into the Nederlander’s Brooks Atkinson, the inventory is fast shrinking. Now the ghost-filled 1,700-seat Palace, jointly owned by Nederlander and Stewart F. Lane, is booked as well. Read More »

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R.I.P. Elaine Stritch, Tough-Broad Muse Of Sondheim, Noel Coward And Survivors Everywhere

R.I.P. Elaine Stritch, Tough-Broad Muse Of Sondheim, Noel Coward And Survivors EverywhereUPDATED with more information throughout: The Broadway star who turned Stephen Sondheim’s song of survival “I’m Still Here” into a personal anthem of triumph over booze, diabetes, unfaithful lovers, indifferent producers, demanding directors, fawning fans and long stretches of unemployment before achieving the status of Living Legend in her later decades, died Thursday in Birmingham, MI, the Detroit suburb to which she decamped a year ago after living the fabulous life for years at Madison Avenue’s Hotel Carlyle. She was 89. Broadway dimmed its lights for one minute on Friday at 7:45 PM in tribute.

"Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me" New York ScreeningStritch may have found the widest audience of her storied career playing Alec Baldwin’s sharp-tongued mother on the NBC comedy 30 Rock. She was also a sometime favorite of Woody Allen, having appeared in the films Small Time Crooks and September.

But Stritch was first and foremost a creature of the stage, playing large roles and small and always, essentially, Elaine Stritch. Slight and charismatic, she proffered a mezzo soprano that, in youth, had a hungering quality one can hear in “I Never Know When,” from 1958′s Goldilocks – an otherwise forgotten musical by Jean and Walter Kerr, with songs by Leroy Anderson, Joan Ford and the Kerrs — in which Stritch starred with Don Ameche and Russell Nype. Later, that voice would become as distinctive as Tom Waits’, invariably described as sandpaper soaked in whisky or some variation of the two. Still, it never lost that sense of urgency, and the two qualities combined to distinguished Stritch from the other Broadway divas of an era long enough to encompass Ethel Merman, Mary Martin, Carol Channing, Angela Lansbury and Bernadette Peters. Read More »

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Broadway Hands Dutch Mogul Joop Van Den Ende Latest K.O. As ‘Rocky’ Goes Down For The Count

By | Tuesday July 15, 2014 @ 3:31pm PDT

Broadway Hands Dutch Mogul Joop Van Den Ende Latest K.O. As ‘Rocky’ Goes Down For The Count

Dutch entertainment mogul Joop van den Ende is one of Europe’s savviest producers of movies, TV and legit, but he just can’t catch a break on Broadway. His latest venture, the musical adaptation of Rocky, was a hit on the Continent — it’s still selling out in Hamburg — but the tuner will shutter August 17 at the Winter Garden Theatre at a complete loss of its estimated $16 million-plus capitalization. Van den Ende will share the pain with a four-star roster of partners including Rocky himself, Sylvester Stallone, MGM, the two leading Broadway landlords, the Shubert Organization (which owns the Winter Garden) and the Nederlander Organization, along with a host of independent producers.

Rocky began previews February 13 and opened a month later to mostly critical yawns that tamped the box office despite some enthusiastic patrons getting in on highly discounted tickets. The show offered a certified coup de theatre from set designer Christopher Barreca in the final scene, which called for the folks in the front rows of the orchestra to move to stageside bleachers, offering a simulacrum of a live boxing event. The boxing ring in which Andy Karl’s Rocky Balboa fought Terence Archie’s Apollo Creed was drawn out on risers directly into the house, a knockout move. Strategic miking and custom-made props — including soft gloves that allowed the actors to actually pummel one another — enhanced the illusion. Read More »

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Broadway Box Office: Slow But Steady, ‘Mice’, ‘Cripple’ Leap $100K-plus

By | Tuesday July 15, 2014 @ 12:00pm PDT

Broadway Box Office: Slow But Steady, ‘Mice’, ‘Cripple’ Leap $100K-plusUPDATE: CORRECTED FIGURES The Broadway League released corrected figures for Cabaret that changed the weekly totals. Correct figures  are: Week 7 of the Broadway season held fairly steady over the previous week, showing a gain of $517,224 over the week before to a total take of $25,634,839, according to figures released by the trade group the Broadway League

More than half the uptick came from increases for two star-driven dramas. Of Mice And Men, featuring James Franco and  Chris O’Dowd in the John Steinbeck revival, took in $862,862, an increase of $107,506 over the week before at the Longacre  Theatre, with nearly every one of its 1,073 seats filled for all eight performances. Martin McDonagh’s The Cripple Of Inishmaan, at the 1,073-seat Cort, was up $129,241 to $596,630. That’s 61% of its $970,200 gross potential; the show played to 85 percent of capacity.

Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, AWalter Kerr TheatreTony best musical winner A Gentleman’s Guide To Love & Murder gained again, by $14,841, to $901,681 and played to full houses. Also at or near SRO: Aladdin, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Hedwig And The Angry Inch, Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar & Grill, Matilda, Newsies, The Book of Mormon, The Lion King (which advanced again, to a Street-topping tally of $2,151,409), and Wicked.

Total season-to-date gross was $196,147,592, up 17.7% from the same week last season. Priciest average ducat was Book Of Mormon ($185.25), followed by Lion King ($160.74) Beautiful ($151.87)  and Hedwig ($148.66).

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Joely Richardson Will Slip Into Emily Dickinson’s Shoes in ‘Belle Of Amherst’ Reprise

By | Tuesday July 15, 2014 @ 11:29am PDT

Joely Richardson Will Slip Into Emily Dickinson’s Shoes in ‘Belle Of Amherst’ RepriseJoely Richardson, who’s staked out number of stage appearances since the end of her co-starring gig on Nip/Tuck, will play 19th-century American poet Emily Dickinson this fall in an off-Broadway revival of The Belle Of Amherst.

William Luce’s 1976 work was written for Julie Harris, who took home her fifth Tony 3269942Award for the solo show, in which she played Emily and 14 other roles. The show was broadcast by the Public Broadcasting Service, and Harris toured it extensively for years. Director of the revival, which is set to begin performances on October 7th and open on the 19th at the Westside Theatre, is Steve Cosson, who runs The Civilians troupe.

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Ka-Ching! Starry, High-Priced London ‘Skylight’, Broadway ‘Hedwig’ Recoup Quickly

By | Tuesday July 15, 2014 @ 10:20am PDT

Ka-Ching! Starry, High-Priced London ‘Skylight’, Broadway ‘Hedwig’ Recoup QuicklyUPDATE, 10:20 AM: The Stage reports London ticket prices have tripled in a decade.  “The West End’s most expensive tickets have reached a new high of £152.25 ($261.23) after The Book Of Mormon increased its premium seat prices by 20% from last year’s £127,” according to a an annual survey conducted by the UK industry periodical whose results were released in June. “This is more than triple the amount it cost to buy a top-price seat in the West End only 10 years ago, when a record high was reached with a £49 ticket to see The Producers in 2004. Over the same period, house prices in London have increased by around 90%.”

Star power, great reviews and premium tickets worked some fast magic on both sides of the Atlantic this week as the producers of two of the hottest shows in recent seasons announced recoupment.

David Binder, the lead producer of Hedwig And The Angry Inch — the wild rock musical starring Neil Patrick Harris that in June won four Tony Awards, including best revival of a musical — said the show recouped as of last Sunday after 15 weeks (preview performances began on March 29). Harris, also a Tony winner, will be replaced beginning August 20 by Book Of Mormon and Girls star Andrew Rannells. According to the show’s documents, it was capitalized at $5 million.
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