amBroadway | Broadway resumes attendance reporting, Patti LuPone on her ‘Company’ head bonk and more

(L to R) Patti LuPone as Joanne and Katrina Lenk as Bobbie in “Company.”
Photo by Matthew Murphy

Broadway resumes reporting individual gross and attendance info

This week, for the first time since the pandemic began, the Broadway League (the trade organization representing Broadway producers and theater owners) resumed reporting the individual weekly grosses and attendance rates of Broadway shows, rather than nonspecific cumulative data. The info for the week ending March 20, 2022 indicates that in spite of continued mask and vaccine requirements and safety concerns, many Broadway shows are doing very well financially.

Top-grossing shows last week included “The Music Man” ($3,451,724 gross, 100% capacity), “Hamilton” ($2,272,219, 101%), “Wicked” ($1,944,704, 100%), “The Lion King” ($1,778,641, 100%), “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” ($1,704,152, 93%). New shows that performed well included “Plaza Suite” ($1,657,090, 100%), “MJ the Musical” ($1,313,710, 93%), and “Six” ($1,284,951, 100%). On the other hand, low-performing shows included “Tina – The Tina Turner Musical” ($778,222, 55%) and “Paradise Square” ($355,401, 97%).

These numbers will likely change in the coming weeks as safety conditions and requirements change and as many new shows begin previews and officially open.

LuPone opens up about getting bonked on the head with roses at ‘Company’

At curtain call of a recent performance of the Broadway revival of “Company,” an audience member threw roses at Patti LuPone as she was taking her bow at curtain call, smacking her on the head.  A video clip of the incident was shared on social media by her co-star Claybourne Elder. While being interviewed on “The View,” LuPone spoke about the experience and offered some advice for theatergoers. “One should throw underhanded, not overhanded, and one should aim for the feet, not the head. And would you take the thorns out of the roses?” said LuPone, who otherwise appreciated both the flowers and the publicity generated by the incident.

Ben Stiller in talks for ‘The Shining’

Ben Stiller is in negotiations to play Jack Torrance (the Jack Nicholson role) in a stage version of Stephen King’s “The Shining” directed by Ivo van Hove, as per Variety. The production is expected to premiere in London before potentially transferring to New York. Stiller last appeared on Broadway a decade ago in a revival of John Guare’s “The House of Blue Leaves.” van Hove, who is known for his boldly theatrical, video-infused productions, has previously worked on other titles that are associated directly or indirectly with well-known films including “Network,” “The Damned,” “Scenes from a Marriage,” and “All About Eve.” In early 2020, van Hove directed a Broadway revival of “West Side Story” which did not return after the shutdown.

Jarrod Spector to play Spielberg in musical on making of ‘Jaws’

Jarrod Spector (“The Cher Show, “Beautiful”) has been cast as film director Stephen Spielberg in “Bruce,” a new musical based on the book “The Jaws Log,” which chronicles the making of the movie “Jaws.” Prior to the pandemic, “Bruce” was slated to receive its world premiere at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse. Instead, it will be produced in Seattle. The production, which has book and lyrics by Robert Taylor and Richard Oberacker (“Bandstand”), will be directed and choreographed by Donna Feore, who is best known for her acclaimed work at Ontario’s Stratford Festival.

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