Broadway Vocab 101. Words used to describe numbers.
I threw out a word a few weeks ago that prompted a reader to pop me an email and ask, “What the fiorello does XXXXX mean?”
So, in an attempt to prevent future emails like that from readers
(and future bad musical-cussing puns from me), I thought I’d introduce a new
feature on The Producer’s Perspective, called Broadway
I remember hearing Broadway-specific terms for the first time when
I started working in the biz, and not having a clue what they meant, and
being too shy to ask (my staff all just did a spit-take at the thought of me
being too shy).
In case any of you have the just-starting-out-shy-gene, this
feature is for you. (Oh, and get over the shy stuff, by the way.
Channel your inner two-year-old and ask, ask, ask and you’ll learn,
learn, and earn!)
The first set of terms we will tackle are all related to the
figures that Broadway producers examine on a daily, and sometimes hourly basis,
depending upon when the show is opening and upon how OCD the producer is.
Hear are five Broadway Box Office terms:
WRAP (noun and verb): The
dollar amount of ticket sales in a fixed period of a time, usually daily.
It includes tickets sold for performances that day (if any) as well as
all performances in the future. ex. Did you see yesterday’s wrap?
How much did we wrap yesterday? If our wraps don’t go up, I’m going
to wrap myself in a box and mail myself to Portugal.
ADVANCE (noun): The dollar
amount of ticket sales for all future performances of a show. ex.
Who has a higher advance – Addams
Family or American Idiot? I don’t
know, but Wicked’s advance is higher than the GDP of a small independent
GROSS (noun and verb): The
total dollar amount of tickets sold before any deductions (see NET below) for a
specific number of performances, usually weekly or daily. ex.
How much did Miracle
Worker gross during its
first full week of previews? When did the Broadway League start reporting the Gross figures? If our grosses don’t go up, I’m going to
wrap myself in a box and mail myself to Portugal.
NET (noun and verb): The
total dollar amount of tickets sold after standard box office deductions (e.g.
credit card commissions, group sales commissions, ticket printing fees,
etc.), for a specific number of performances, usually weekly or
daily. ex. How much did Miracle Worker net
during its first full week of previews? When did The Broadway League
start reporting the net figures as opposed to the gross? If we weren’t
overcharged for Credit Card Commissions, our net would be much closer to our
NAGBOR (noun): pronounced
“Nag-Bore”. An acronym for Net Adjusted Gross Box Office
Receipts, or just a fancy way to say NET.
If there’s a word you want broken down in the next Broadway Vocab, just pop me an email.
I promise I won’t tell you to Fosse-off.