The Super Bowl is by far the biggest live event in ticket sales this week, accounting for nearly half of the total dollar volume of the Overall Top Ten events. Little wonder. The big game features the undefeated New England Patriots, the underdog New York Giants, a touch of Beantown/Big Apple rivalry . . . if only Jonas Brothers were playing the halftime show.
The week of Jan. 21 through Jan. 27 was the first week without a pro football game in nearly five months, a gentle reminder to ticket-buyers that they will soon need a new team to root for. With Super Bowl XLII vacating the number two spot to claim the top of the Sports chart, the Boston Red Sox come out of left field to fill the position. The Daytona 500 moves into the number four spot, up from number eight last week. The 2008 Olympics Opening Ceremony takes number six. The New York Knicks and Boston Celtics appear at eight and nine, respectively. US Men’s Soccer, the red-headed stepchild of the group, debuts at ten.
It was a week of milestones for Broadway theatre. Phantom of the Opera, which ranks at number eight on both the Top Theatre and Top New York City Theatre charts, celebrated its twenty year anniversary January 26 with performances 8318 and 8319. The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical is the first Broadway production to reach the twenty year mark. A much more recent addition to the Broadway circuit, ninth-ranked NYC production Mary Poppins reached its five hundredth performance January 27. Monty Python’s Spamalot rejoins the NYC Theatre rankings at number six shortly after Clay Aiken took the stage as Sir Robin. Aiken will likely be a big draw, though he is admittedly a stranger to acting and isn’t on much better terms with Monty Python. “It was, in my opinion, the stupidest thing ever produced,” he said when introduced to Spamalot. Strong words for someone made famous through American Idol.
Jonas Brothers command the top of the Concerts chart this week, overtaking Hannah Montana as the Best of Both Worlds Tour winds down to a close. Disney improves upon the tween scene success equation with the young trio. Though the brothers appeal to the same audience as Miley Cyrus, they elicit a different kind of fervor from their fans. Squealing girls with “I heart Nick” (or Kevin, or Joe) signs just can’t miss out on the opportunity to see the boys and debate over whether or not “the cute one” pointed right at them during the chorus of “Still in Love with You.”
In the magical city of Las Vegas, David Copperfield ranks at number five and Penn & Teller appear at number nine. While the art of illusion is appreciated in Sin City, it doesn’t appear to be as popular in Chicago where a 2006 Blue Man Group show recently resulted in a lawsuit. The popular production, which moves up to number six on the Vegas chart, includes a bit referred to as the “esophagus cam” in which the blue performers hold a camera outside of an audience member’s mouth while a prerecorded medical video plays, giving the impression that they are filming the volunteer’s esophagus. James Sroden alleges that at the Chicago show he attended, he was restrained as a filthy camera was shoved down his throat, resulting in a “traumatic contusion” to the esophagus, injuries to his mouth and dental work, and recurring nightmares. He is seeking more than $50,000 in damages for battery, negligence, and negligent infliction of emotional distress. The case has compelled Blue Man Group to reveal one of their illusions, as well as to demonstrate that “How to Be a Megastar” includes gracefully responding to potentially frivolous lawsuits.