Main | Friday, January 04, 2008

Broadway Friday

- The Roundabout Theatre Company's production of the Olivier Award-winning Hitchcockian thriller The 39 Steps begins previews today at the American Airlines Theatre. Maria Aitken, director of the original hit London production, stages the work in New York. The limited engagement will officially open Jan. 15 and run through March 23.

-The revival of Cyrano de Bergerac — which will play its final performance at the Richard Rodgers Theatre this Sunday — is being filmed for future broadcast on PBS. Great Performances will air the revival, which stars Kevin Kline, Daniel Sunjata and Jennifer Garner. An air date has yet to be determined.

Broadway's annual gross for 2007 was surprisingly good:
Broadway revenue totaled more than $938 million in 2007, up 3.5 percent from 2006 despite a 19-day stagehands strike in November that shut down most shows in the New York industry.

Attendance rose 2.7 percent to a record 12.29 million, according to data released today by the Broadway League, a trade association that represents producers and theater owners.

The year's results were bolstered by a strong holiday week, which the league defined as Dec. 24-30, excluding Dec. 31. The musical ``Wicked'' had sales of $1.8 million, the most ever for a Broadway show in a week. Thirteen productions recorded sales of more than $1 million that week, including ``Spamalot'' and ``Hairspray,'' up from six shows that passed that mark the previous week.

Direct comparisons between 2007 and 2006 are complicated by two factors. The 2007 figures exclude ``The New Mel Brooks Musical: Young Frankenstein,'' which began performances in New York on Oct. 11. The show's producers are defying industry tradition by not publicly disclosing grosses or ticket sales.

Average ticket prices were $76.32, up from $75.69 in 2006 and $68.86 in 2005, according to the league. Average prices would be higher with the inclusion of ``Young Frankenstein,'' which charges as much as $450 for weekend performances.
- Jackie Hoffman will return to Joe's Pub with her new show, Scraping the Bottom: The Most Offensive Songs of Jackie Hoffman, on Monday's February 4, 11, and 25. The show is described as "a shameless retread of her nastiest musical hits in an evening of songs that's just plain wrong." Hoffman is my favorite cast member of Xanadu.


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