Theater & Broadway News
Punk music has blasted its way onto Broadway in the form of "American Idiot," the Green Day-driven rock opera that opened at St. James Theatre on April 20.
Unsurprisingly, primary musical and lyrical credits for the production go to Green Day and band frontman Billie Joe Armstrong, with Tom Kitt overseeing music arrangements and Director Michael Mayer offering support on the book. "American Idiot" is based on the Green Day album of the same name, with additional songs from Green Day's newer catalogue thrown into the mix for good measure.
The latest Broadway revival of the riotous musical comedy "La Cage aux Folles" opened April 18 at the Longacre Theatre.
The musical comedy stars five-time Emmy winner Kelsey Grammer as the title nightclub's manager Georges. Olivier winner Douglas Hodge makes his Broadway debut as Georges' longtime partner Albin, who transforms into the flamboyant Zaza for La Cage's drag revues.
It was another great week on Broadway with six new productions now playing for a total of 33, including nine plays and 24 musicals. Comparing the high of the previous week, $24,454,021, this week's ticket sales came in a little shy of that at $22,531,010.The season to date total of $889,043,080 continues to outshine last year's $876,374,605 for a 1.4 percent increase.
In the million-dollar circle again this week were Wicked at the Gershwin, The Lion King at the Minskoff, Billy Elliot at the Imperial,The Addams Family at the Lunt-Fontanne, Mary Poppins at the Amsterdam, The Phantom of the Opera at the Majestic and West Side Story at the Palace.
One of music history's most famed jam sessions takes center stage in "Million Dollar Quartet," which opened April 11 at the Nederlander Theatre.
The musical by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux is a fictionalized take on the impromptu December 1956 recording session that brought four of the industry's biggest names together in the Nashville-based Sun Records studio.
Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch direct "The Addams Family," which opened April 8 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.
This new musical comedy -- with a book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice ("Jersey Boys"), and lyrics by Andrew Lippa -- is based on the much-loved characters drawn by cartoonist Charles Addams from 1938 until his death in 1988. The production brings two well-loved thespians back to Broadway as the patriarch and matriarch of the title family with Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth starring as Gomez and Morticia Addams.
It was a great week for Broadway as ticket sales soared from the previous week's box office of $20,739,845 to $24,454,021. That brings the current total at this point in the season to $866,572,070 compared to $853,123,798 for the same point in time last season, representing a 1.6 percent increase.
A total of 33 productions graced the Great White Way: 23 musicals, nine plays and one special. Thirteen of those enjoyed 95 percent or better attendance. Overall, theaters reported 88.31 percent attendance.
The Great White Way will suffer another early shuttering this season due to disappointing box office receipts. Lyceum Theatre's staging of "Looped," the Tallulah Bankhead bio-play starring Valerie Harper, will close on April 11.
The announcement surfaced midday on April 5 along with box office numbers for the previous week and just-ended weekend. Receipts for the week were just $168,351, while attendance was stagnant with the 916-seat house at a bare 51 percent average capacity, according to the Broadway League's reports.
Stanley Tucci directs the Broadway revival of Ken Ludwig's comedy "Lend Me a Tenor," which opened April 4 at the Music Box Theatre.
Set in a Cleveland hotel suite in 1934, "Tenor" is the story of the Italian opera star Tito Merelli (“Il Stupendo”), played by Anthony LaPaglia opposite Jan Maxwell as the singer's jealous wife, Maria. Tony Shalhoub also stars as the frazzled opera company manager Saunders, who must keep everything in order and find a substitute when Merelli is incapacitated on opening night.
March was a boom month for Broadway, which saw an influx of shows parading onto the Great White Way in time for spring. But for a couple of the season's newest shows, boom quickly turned to bust as lagging ticket sales led to announcements of early shuttering.
Final bows will come April 4 for two productions at opposite ends of the entertainment spectrum -- a revival of the historical drama "The Miracle Worker," and the new musical revue-style comedy "All About Me."
This past week saw box office ticket sales drop slightly to $20,739,845 from $20,836,876 the previous reporting period. That puts the gross ticket sales ahead by 0.9 percent this year from the same time in the previous season, $842,058,049 to $834,490,954. Five productions came into the million-dollar category led by Wicked at the Gershwin, The Lion King at the Minskoff, The Addams Family at the Lunt-Fontanne, Billy Elliot at the Imperial and Jersey Boys at the August Wilson, all musicals.