Thursday, April 25, 2024

Broadway: Good News, Bad News as “Funny Girl” Breaks Record, Two Shows to Close


Broadway is surviving the kinda recession, pandemic, and bad weather with good news, bad news.

“Funny Girl” has gone from a disaster to a blockbuster over the course of the year, which should teach producers a lesson: Give the people what they want.

Lea Michele, Tovah Feldshuh, and Ramin Karimloo scored just over $2 million last and broke the house record at the August Wilson Theater. The previous house record was set in 2018 by “Mean Girls,” just under $2 million.

Meantime, there are two closures coming: “Death of a Salesman” just announced it will close in four weeks. The much acclaimed production starring Wendell Pierce has struggled despite rave reviews. I’m seeing it tomorrow night and will report back on Friday.

Also, the stage adaption of the great film, “Almost Famous,” will close on January 8th. I was among the few critics who liked it. Also, lack of a star didn’t help the box office. These shows, especially if their reviews are modest, need a couple of recognizable names to keep them going. “Almost Famous” lacked that magic (even though the cast is very good). The good news is, this show can have a life in small productions like high schools, colleges, etc.

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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