Monday, June 17, 2024

Broadway Gives Grosses 1st Time in 2 Years: “Music Man,” “Michael Jackson” Booming, “Company” Needs Some, “Tina” Rolling on a River


Broadway is back, and so are the grosses.

For the first time in 2 years we have the actual numbers for the prior, just like old times.

No surprise: The Music Man with Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster is a blockbuster. The weekly take was over $3,45 million. That’s stunning, Of course, the ticket price is astronomical.  But this was all expected.

Kind of a surprise: “MJ,” the Michael Jackson musical, is a hit. Last week’s take was $1.3 million. And they were only at 93% of capacity. There’s a little room for improvement. But the well reviewed show has an audience, they’re telling friends, and coming back for more. Nice.

Almost all the shows are taking in over a million bucks. Some, like “Hamilton,” “The Lion King,” and “Wicked, ” are doing much better. “Plaza Suite” is in previews but acting like a musical hit with Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick basically sold out at nearly $1.7 million. They open on Monday, the day after the Oscars, so I won’t get in there for some time. But this is like printing money. The Neil Simon Estate should be thrilled.

On the down side, “Company” with Patti Lupone, is not making the $900K mark. It should be. Tony nominations are coming, with a win for Lupone, so I hope that will help. This production is a gem.

“Tina: The Tina Turner Musical” is also just below $900K. This show is so good, I’d like to see it soar. But ‘Tina” opened in November 2019, had to shut down in March 2020, and never got the momentum back. Adrianne Warren won her Tony Award, but she left. So now it’s up to the press to go in, review it again with the new cast, and give them a boost.

I fear there’s real trouble for “Come from Away.” The great Tony hit is coming in around $650,00 a week. It’s only playing to 84% capacity. “Come from Away” has aged, certainly, and may be ready for a rest.

Really suffering is “Chicago.” After 25-plus years, just about everyone in the world has seen it. Plus, the Weisslers are missing the big tourist trade which bolsters them. Right now they’re at 77% and just under $600,000. Their Hail Mary pass will be bringing in pin up Pamela Anderson for stunt casting. She’ll either turn things around or “Chicago” will also have take a snooze. But never ever count out Fran and Barry Weissler. They are Broadway’s ultimate survivors!


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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