By Stacey Willets As we enter the time of year to begin lamenting about winter weight, sports events show an increase in activity. Specifically,...

By Stacey Willets

As we enter the time of year to begin lamenting about winter weight, sports events show an increase in activity. Specifically, the NFL playoffs kick off the New Year with several teams rushing the Top Events chart. Whether or not you plan to join the countdown to wings and beer, read on to learn what there is to see on Broadway now that Radio City Christmas Spectacular closed, which do-gooder Vegas act is reaping rewards, and more. From Priscilla Ceballos’s public apologies to Chris Rock’s “No Apologies,” TicketNews brings you the hottest shows and event news for the week of 12/31/07 – 1/06/08.


                  OVERALL TOP 10 EVENTS

Event                            This Week    Last Week
Hannah Montana                        1           2
Wicked                                2           1
BCS Championship Game                 3           4
Jersey Boys                           4           3
Green Bay Packers                     5          n/a
Daytona 500                           6          n/a
George Strait                         7           7
New England Patriots                  8          n/a
Bon Jovi                              9          10
Dallas Cowboys                       10          n/a

Evidently ticket buyers made the resolution to attend more sports events this year. The BCS Championship event is joined by the Green Bay Packers at five, Daytona 500 at six, New England Patriots at eight, and Dallas Cowboys at ten.


                   TOP 10 SPORTS EVENTS

Event                            This Week    Last Week
BCS Championship Game                1            1
Green Bay Packers                    2           n/a
Daytona 500                          3           10
New England Patriots                 4           n/a
Dallas Cowboys                       5            8
Seattle Seahawks                     6           n/a
Pittsburgh Steelers                  7           n/a
AMA Supercross                       8           n/a
Super Bowl XLII                      9            7
Monster Jam Trucks                  10           n/a

Before LSU’s 38-24 victory over Ohio State Monday, football fans already began to shift focus to the NFL playoffs. The Green Bay Packers, number two this week, are set to host sixth-ranked Seattle for the NFC divisional playoffs following the Seahawks’ victory over the Washington Redskins. The Pittsburgh Steelers reach number seven in the rankings, but end their run there. Their loss to Jacksonville sends the Jaguars to play the fourth-ranked New England Patriots. Without any home games, the New York Giants slip from the rankings, but charge forward past the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to earn a face-off with the fifth-ranked Dallas Cowboys.

Motorsports sales have wheels this week. The Daytona 500 speeds through the rankings from number ten to number three. AMA Supercross debuts at number eight and Monster Jam Trucks debut at number ten.


                    TOP 10 THEATRE EVENTS

Event                            This Week    Last Week
Wicked                                1           1
Jersey Boys                           2           2
Lion King                             3           3
Young Frankenstein                    4           4
Blue Man Group                        5           9
Disney on Ice: High School Musical    6           5
The Little Mermaid                    7           8
Phantom of the Opera                  8           7
Monty Python's Spamalot               9          n/a
Grease                               10          n/a

As Hannah Montana’s “Best of Both Worlds” tour makes evident, tween/teen shows are some of the hottest acts in live entertainment. Disney on Ice: High School Musical spends its fourth consecutive week on the chart, while Grease, seemingly defying all odds and reviews, rejoins the rankings at number ten. Though the hype from the reality series that asked America to pick the musical’s leads has long since died away, Grease set a new box office record for the Brooks Atkinson Theatre for the week of December 26 – December 31, 2007, with $1,140,813.46 in primary sales.


             TOP 10 NEW YORK CITY THEATRE EVENTS

Event                            This Week    Last Week
Wicked                               1            1
Jersey Boys                          2            2
Young Frankenstein                   3            3
The Little Mermaid                   4            5
Lion King                            5            7
Grease                               6            8
Monty Python's Spamalot              7           10
Phantom of the Opera                 8           n/a
Mary Poppins                         9            9
Spring Awakening                    10           n/a

It’s a new year, but many of the same shows persist at the top of the chart. Fresh productions Young Frankenstein and The Little Mermaid have carved out a place in the rankings among multi-year bestsellers, however. Frankenstein remains at number three while Mermaid advances one place to number four.

Spring Awakening, a revamped version of Frank’s Wedekind’s 1891 play, returns to the chart at number ten. The show recently underwent some cast changes that drew attention. Broadway actress Kate Burton replaced Christine Estabrook in the role of “Adult Woman.” Blake Bashoff, perhaps recognized as Karl from the television series Lost, replaced John Gallagher Jr. as the part of Moritz.


                    TOP 10 CONCERT EVENTS

Event                            This Week    Last Week
Hannah Montana                       1            1
George Strait                        2            3
Bon Jovi                             3            5
Bruce Springsteen                    4            6
Keith Urban & Carrie Underwood       5            4
Céline Dion                          6            2
Chris Brown & Bow Wow                7            8
Van Halen                            8            7
Spice Girls                          9           n/a
Chris Rock                          10            9

Hannah Montana is still tops, in concert sales and headlines. Most recently in Hannah news, a Texas mother came under fire for helping her six-year-old daughter win tickets from an essay contest with a compelling, yet completely fabricated story. Their winning entry falsely claimed that the girl’s father was serving his country in Iraq and was killed in a roadside bombing. The deception speaks loudly to what people are willing to do to get their hands on those hard-to-get Hannah tickets.

Writer Buddy Sheffield’s interest in Hannah tickets is a bit different. Sheffield sued Disney last year, claiming that the television series “Hannah Montana” is a “blatant copy” of an idea he pitched to Disney in 2001. His claim to Disney’s cash cow has been referred to mediation, with a trial date scheduled for August 26 if a resolution cannot be reached.


                  TOP 10 LAS VEGAS SHOWS

Event                            This Week    Last Week
Bette Midler                         1            1
Cirque du Soleil: The Beatles: LOVE  2            8
Blue Man Group                       3            5
Cirque du Soleil: "O"                4            2
Penn & Teller                        5           10
Elton John: The Red Piano            6            3
Le Rêve                              7            7
Monty Python's Spamalot              8           n/a
Barry Manilow: Music and Passion     9            4
Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular  10            9

Just when we were about to sing “Where did our LOVE go?” the Beatles tribute show sales recover and put the Cirque production back in the top half of the chart at number two.

According to a Las Vegas news station, Penn & Teller encouraged residents to give the gift of life for the holidays. The duo helped to combat the yearly shortage by offering two free tickets to their show to anyone willing to donate blood. A bump in sales this week suggests they’ve been attracting more of an audience than just their comped guests. Penn & Teller work their magic to gain five positions in the rankings, moving up from number ten to number five.

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