Monday, April 22, 2024

Broadway Had a Bad Xmas Week Despite Huge Times Square Crowds, “Some Like it Not” But Not Enough


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!

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.

Read more

In Other News