Last week was tough on Broadway, even for big stars.
“Macbeth” starring Daniel Craig only filled 83% of the Longacre Theater in 8 shows. What’s going on? This is James Bond in a terrific performance. Ruth Negga was nominated for a Tony Award as Lady MacBeth. This production should be selling out.
But the peculiar voting of the Tony Awards didn’t give Craig a nomination for Best Actor in a Play. This was a mistake. The result was that Craig was not on the Tony Awards broadcast. The play didn’t get the exposure it needed, and frankly, the Tonys lost viewers not having him on.
Last week, “Macbeth” fell short of the magic million dollar mark, too. That’s good news for the theaterlovers who will can get a ticket to see the Scottish play before it closes on July 10th. But “Macbeth” with these two stars should be totally sold out.
“A Strange Loop,” on other hand, won the Tony for Best Musical even though it didn’t win Best Score. The result is that the show sold at 100% capacity last week even though receipts are low–just $845K total. But “A Strange Loop” has no stars so it’s not as expensive as, say, “The Music Man.” The fact that it won Best Musical is a coup for everyone involved. I ran into a top producer last week who observed that the very frank and graphic musical will have trouble on national tour outside of Chicago and San Francisco, and certainly can’t be performed by high schools or mainstream theater groups. But a long Broadway run should make up for that.
Finally, “Paradise Square” is certainly in jeopardy of closing. Despite Joaquina Kalukango winning Best Actress in a Musical, the show is a box office dud. Last week it played to 64% capacity and took in a measly $387K. And that was an increase of more than $100K from the previous week! But it’s not enough of an increase to keep it going very long. “Paradise” is mostly lost. How they would get through the summer with such empty houses is a puzzlement.