Thursday, April 25, 2024

Broadway’s Back But the Audience is Tentative: Except for “Music Man” Ticket Sales Are Slow So Far, Even for “Hamilton”


It used to be you could not get a ticket to “Hamilton” to save your life.

Then the pandemic hit. And the filmed version of the award winning musical on Disney Plus.

Now, when “Hamilton” returns in the fall, you’ve pretty much got your choice of dates and prices. The first few weeks beginning September 29th are backed up with old orders. But as the calendar pages fly through October, November and hit December 1st, a chance to be “in the room” with Alexander H and all his friends is wide open.

Old shows that are selling tickets are having a tough time. But new shows are finding it even more difficult. So far tickets for “MJ: The Michael Jackson Musical” are stagnant. Even “Company,” the most anticipated holdover from the 2020 season, shows seas of blue — meaning open seats for sale — on Same for “Diana: The Musical.” And the brilliant “Girl from the North Country.”

The only show with sold out dates? “The Music Man” with Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster. But you know, of course. “The Music Man” with those stars is beyond reviews, pandemics, tornadoes.

Want to see “The Lion King” on September 30th at 8pm? It’s yours, the whole house. Or how about “Wicked”, same night? Same thing.

So what’s going on? Prices are high, and obviously people are wary about returning to the tight seating of a Broadway theater. But if they’re vaccinated there should be no issue, and you can always wear a mask if you’re concerned.

But Broadway will need momentum and a shot of Adrenalin to get re-started. It will take more than a two hour special on CBS on September 26th. All summer the shows will have to be promoting themselves on TV, radio, and social media, priming interest in a return to the glories of Broadway.

Meantime, this is the moment, that very moment, to take advantage of ticket availability. This temporary lull in buying won’t last. The early bird will get that worm.

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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