Broadway Theater: Here’s a quick glance of some notable happenings on Great White Way this week:
Opening this Week:
John Lithgow: Stories by Heart – Opens January 11th
Two-time Tony winner and Oscar nominee John Lithgow returns to Broadway theater in a solo show that traces his roots as an actor and storyteller, working classic short stories by P. G. Wodehouse and and Ring Lardner – read to him as a child – into his own narrative.
Broadway Theater News and Notes:
Broadway Box Office Breaks Records During Holidays
- For the last weeks of 2017, many Broadway shows recorded their most profitable weeks ever. Ten shows earned more than $2 million, led by Hamilton, The Lion King and Wicked, which each pulled in more than $3 million, according to the Broadway League, a national trade association for the industry. The year ended with grosses soaring to $1.6 billion, attracting 13.74 million patrons, both yearly records. New weekly highs were reached by shows including Come From Away, SpongeBob SquarePants, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Play That Goes Wrong, Waitress and The Band’s Visit. Even the musical Chicago got into the act after 20+ years, earning a record $1.3 million. Those who boasted surpassing the $2 million mark included The Phantom of the Opera, Hello, Dolly!, Dear Evan Hansen, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Aladdin, Springsteen on Broadway and The Book of Mormon. More details here.
New Play The Minutes Delays Broadway Run
- Pulitzer and Tony winner Tracy Letts’ new political comedy The Minutes, now playing Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company, has delayed its arrival on Broadway. The play was set to transfer to a yet-to-be-announced theatre on Broadway in spring 2018 following its world premiere in Chicago. Broadway previews had been scheduled to begin February 6, 2018, with an opening night set for March 8. Tony winner Anna D. Shapiro, who collaborated with Letts on Broadway hit August: Osage County, is at the helm of The Minutes. The comedy centers on a town council meeting that uncovers the truth behind the town’s history. More details here.
Casting Directors Ready Response to Broadway League Suit
- Seven Broadway casting offices have until January 22 to respond to allegations of violating antitrust laws as the lawsuit filed against them by The Broadway League proceeds. The allegation comes as the League claims that seven casting offices have banded together to raise their fees and have refused to work with producers who do not pay them. The League has said that this boycott is hurting Broadway producers, but a lawyer for the casting directors, who have been seeking union recognition from the League, contends that there is no boycott. In the original complaint, filed December 5, the League alleged that seven casting offices have violated antitrust laws by collectively adding a 29% fee increase to go toward pension and healthcare funds and boycotting producers who would not pay them. The suit stems from the fact that casting offices say that they are employees of the show and entitled to benefits and collective bargaining negotiated by their union, while the League says they are independent contractors and thus will not recognize their union. More details here.