Broadway Grosses w/e 2/4/2018: The Patriots aren’t the only ones who lost last week

The following are the Broadway grosses for the week ending February 4, 2018.
The Broadway grosses are courtesy of The Broadway League
Read more here:

STATS REVEALED: Fewer shows close this January than in the last 10 years.

On Tuesday, I posted a theory in my weekly Broadway gross wrap up.

Ok, it wasn’t really a theory.  It was more like a feeling in my gut.  And frankly, I couldn’t tell if that feeling in my gut was the pizza I ate at midnight, or if I was really on to something.

So, I had my crackerjack research team (including our new intern Liana) do a bit of data digging to see if this theory was the result of some greasy pepperoni or an actual thing.

And this AM, they spit out some stats and voilà . . . it looks like, as a therapist would say, my feelings were valid.

What I hypothesized was that this year had the fewest closings in January we’ve had in a long time.  See, normally shows seem to shutter quickly after the holidays.  But this year it seemed like more shows were sticking it out . . . stretching to MLK Day and Broadway Week, and now beyond.

And, as you’ll see in the blog below, that’s exactly what happened!

This January, we only saw 3 shows close, which is the LOWEST number of shows we’ve had in the last ten years.

In fact, an average of 8 shows closed in January over the last decade.  And this year, it wasn’t even half that.  (Non Profit closings weren’t included, by the way).  This past year was 62.5% less than the average.

Take a look . . .

Interesting trend, no?

But it doesn’t stop there.

I turned the time machine back another ten years to see how we stacked up against a longer era, and wouldn’t you know it, we’re way under that average of 6 shows closing in January over the last twenty years.

See for yourself.

 

What does all this mean?

It means that Broadway Week has helped.  It means more tourists are sticking around after Xmas (and tourism is up in general).  It also means that shows are getting smarter about pricing during this period to attract more buyers.

Oh, and it means even fewer theaters will be available to new spring shows.

(Do you like charts and graphs about the business of Broadway?  Check out The Recoupment Report, my quarterly newsletter dedicated to the art and commerce of investing on Broadway.  Click here for more info and to sign up.)

Podcast Episode 147 – Tony Award-Winning Director, Walter Bobbie

One of the questions that I get asked a lot in my travels is . . .

“How did Chicago become one of the longest-running shows ever?”

This week’s guest is one of the primary reasons.

Walter Bobbie was the Artistic Director of the newly formed Encores! when he added Chicago to the line-up and changed the Broadway landscape forever (Chicago is not only on the list of the Top 10 longest running shows, but it is the only revival on that list).

Because of its success, that could have been the only show that Walter directed, but he has done more, including last season’s Bright Star, Venus in Fur, and a bunch more (not to mention his Broadway acting credits!).

Walter and I talked about Chicago and why it became such a monster success, along with . . .

  • How he knew he wasn’t long for life as an actor (warning: this story involves beer).
  • The “Brunch Show” on the Upper West Side that started his career . . . and the person who hired him for the gig. (Spoiler Alert:  that person was himself.)
  • The training he got by NOT going through traditional training.
  • How he exercised his Producing muscles to build Encores! at City Center.
  • The importance of a “safe room” for his actors on any play.

Walter is an ADP.  Actor/Director/Producer.  In this podcast, you’ll learn how there is much more crossover in those disciplines than you ever would have guessed.

So listen up . . .

Click here for the link to my podcast with Walter!

Listen to it on iTunes here. (And if you like the podcast, give it a great review, while you’re there!)

Download it here.

 

Broadway Grosses w/e 1/21/2018: I’ve got good news. And bad news.

The following are the Broadway grosses for the week ending January 21, 2018.
The Broadway grosses are courtesy of The Broadway League
Read more here:

Podcast Episode 146 – Tony Nominated Director, Sheryl Kaller.

In 2010, the beautiful little play entitled Next Fall came out of nowhere, earned a rave from Ben Brantley, signed Elton John as a Producer and opened on Broadway where it was nominated for Best Play.

It was one of those great surprises that happen every few years in the theater.

And one of the best results from Next Fall‘s rise to the top was that people started to take notice of one of the top female Directors we have in our ranks, Ms. Sheryl Kaller.

Sheryl has become known for directing intimate dramas like Next Fall (she helmed Mothers and Sons on Broadway with Tyne Daly, which I co-produced), but can handle anything you throw at her (a stage version of Frozen has been on cruise ships for the last year or so . . . guess who put that sucker up?).

That’s why I was eager to talk to her, and as usual, Sher didn’t disappoint, and told me her story and gave me her perspective on all things including:

  • What Bob Fosse “fought for” in his direction, and how that inspired her.
  • How she never felt like a female Director while she was in school . . . but only when she got into the business, and how that has changed (or not) since then.
  • The day she got scolded by an Actor for being too prepared.  And how that has affected her style since.
  • How she got back into the business after deciding to take time off to raise her family (and how that made her a better and more successful Director).
  • The process of pitching herself for a job . . . what she says to playwrights and Producers in order to earn their trust.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the 146 podcasts we’ve done here is that there is no one way to do anything in the theater.  There is only your way.

Listen to how Sheryl reached her goals and how she’s working her butt off to reach her new ones by clicking below.

Click here for the link to my podcast with Sheryl!

Listen to it on iTunes here. (And if you like the podcast, give it a great review, while you’re there!)

Download it here.

 

 

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