Saturday, April 13, 2024

Broadway: Tom Hanks Play Beats Musical “Spider Man” at Box Office


Broadway: yes, perennials “The Lion King,” “Book of Mormon,” and “Wicked” were the top three highest grossers last week on the Great White Way. But number 4? It wasn’t “Spider Man: Turn off the Dark.” The flying side effects machine took 5th place. It lost, by $30,000, to a regular play– “Lucky Guy” with Tom Hanks, written by the late Nora Ephron. “Lucky Guy” is bursting at the seams with standing room only tickets. Celebrities can’t even get in. The Broadhurst is filled to capacity and then some. “Lucky Guy” took in $1.294 million last week, compared to $1.264 for “Spider Man.” Consider that “Spider Man’ has 748 more seats to sell as well at the Foxwoods Theater. And none of the “Lucky Guy” cast flies. They do soar, however.

This is a fruitful new season on Broadway. Not only is “Lucky Guy” a hit but so are Cyndi Lauper’s “Kinky Boots,” and “Hands on a Hard Body” with Keith Carradine. “Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike” with Sigourney Weaver (which cannot be missed) is picking up nicely. Newcomers “Cinderella” and “Motown” each did well over $1 million last week. “Phantom of the Opera,” unaccountably, is selling tickets to someone. Last season’s Tony winner for Best Musical, “Once” is also over a million a week. Next week a new cast comes in. And audiences are very taken with “Ann” at Lincoln Center, starring Holland Taylor.

Just a note about Holland Taylor. When I was backstage at “Lucky Guy” on Friday night I asked Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari what they thought about their old “Bosom Buddies” boss being on Broadway at the same time. What were the chances 30 years later that they’d all be on track for Tony Awards? I wish I had had a camera for their answer. They responded like 22 year olds, with huge smiles and shouted, “Isn’t it amazing????” I don’t think they could have been happier. So funny. So nice.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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