Thursday, May 31, 2007

The risky business of Broadway

Producing and investing in a Broadway show is always a risky proposition. Even when a show does gang-busters there's no guarantee that anyone will profit. After all of the expenses are taken care of, perhaps everyone just breaks even. But as the 2006-2007 touring Broadway seasons wrap up around the county, New York's Broadway shows closed their season this past Sunday with a sunny financial outlook. reports that the 06-07 NYC Broadway season realized a 8.9% revenue increase from last season to $939 million and attendance increased 2.6% to 12.3 million folks.

There are quite a few factors that could have contributed to this pretty substantial increase but it all starts with a fantastic product. Of the 35 shows that opened this season, 25 have received at least one Tony nomination (the Tonys are June 10... make sure you watch). From "Grey Gardens" and "Spring Awakening" to the family-friendly "Mary Poppins" and revival of "A Chorus Line" there is truly something for everyone. Heck there are also 16 dramatic plays in the mix for you non-musical folks.

Adding to the revenue increase were a bunch of block busters including "Jersey Boys", "The Color Purple", "The Lion King", "Wicked" and now "Mary Poppins" whose last week box-office weekly grossing total broke the $1 million mark for the first time!

But as I mention at the beginning of this blog, producing and investing is often a risky situation. Unfortunately a few shows didn't perform to expectations and ultimately cost producers and investors around $60 million. Two of those unfortunately shows were Twyla Tharp/Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A Changin' " and "High Fidelity." I'll be honest, I don't like Bob Dylan but I was really interested in seeing "Times" since I loved "Movin' Out" (Twyla Tharp also did that one). Sadly that opportunity has come and gone.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Color Purple and Jersey Boys are fantastic, great nights out a the theater, and I look forward to seeing the road show versions as well.

While I wasn't crazy about a Twyla Tharp's Dylan project, I heard she is working on a collaboration with Miami City Ballet and the music of Elvis Costello that is going to be amazing. Let's see ....