Times Square is overflowing with people. And Elmo’s. The grotesque pedestrian mall has brought looky-loo’s from all over, but they’re not going to Broadway. They’re taking pictures of themselves and clogging up what’s left of the streets.
The Broadway theaters are not thriving because of these crowds. Imagine, these tourists aren’t seeing shows, apparently. They’re sitting in the freezing cold on uncomfortable chairs and gaping at the neon signs. This is called an “improvement district.” Soon this will happen to Fifth Avenue, if Mayor Adams gets his way.
Last week– Christmas week — Broadway receipts were down almost $3 million overall. At a time when they should have been up by $6 million. There are plenty of terrific shows, and lots of discounts. But the total last week was $34.8 million, down from 37.2 million.
Really down was the new, much praised musical, “Some Like it Hot.” The show tumbled by over $250K to just $543,268. “Some Like it Hot” should be booming at upwards of $1 million. The reviews were terrific, the movie it’s based on is a brand name. What’s going on there? Is this again a problem of no stars? Christian Borle is a Broadway star, a name to theatergoers. But none of the other talented cast is a draw, And that’s what’s holding it back. (Sorry, I loved all of them.) Those people standing around in the middle of the street aren’t coming in unless they’ve got a name to attract them. And that’s too bad.
So go now, while “Some Like It Hot” is at TKTS and other discounters. The show is a lot of fun, the singing and dancing is A plus Broadway. It’s a lot more entertaining than getting your picture taken with Spider Man!