amBroadway | Broadway attendance at less than 80% capacity, Laura Benanti details onstage injuries and more

She Loves MeStudio 54
Laura Benanti in “She Loves Me”
Photo: Joan Marcus

Broadway attendance at less than 80 percent capacity

A few months ago, the Broadway League (the trade organization representing Broadway theater owners and producers) announced that it would not release the weekly box office grosses and attendance numbers of Broadway shows this season – assumedly to protect against potential bad publicity in the event that numbers are low. However, the Broadway League has now started releasing limited cumulative box office data.

Last week, the 27 shows currently on Broadway grossed a combined $19.63 million, with overall attendance at 77.52 percent of theater capacity. Since early August, shows have grossed $125.12 million and averaged 84.39 percent attendance.

These numbers reflect the challenge of getting audiences back to Broadway following the shutdown and as the pandemic lingers on. 

Laura Benanti details her brutal onstage injuries

Laura Benanti, who made her Broadway debut as a teenager in a 1998 revival of “The Sound of Music,” revealed in a lengthy and candid Instagram post how she broke her neck at age 22 due to the physical demands of a Broadway show and became the subject of derogatory rumors after she left the show due to her injuries.

Although she did not name the production, it was clearly the 2002 revival of “Into the Woods” in which she played Cinderella. She later required two surgeries.

I have rarely spoken about this so directly,” Benanti wrote. “Devoid of the humor required to make people comfortable. I wake up every day with pain. And today I woke up angry. Because I’m not a nice girl anymore. I am a grown-ass woman.”

Her post follows an ongoing campaign to raise awareness of working conditions for stage performers. 

McDonald to return to Broadway in ‘Ohio State Murders’

Six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald will return to Broadway in Adrienne Kennedy’s graphic mystery drama “Ohio State Murders,” directed by Kenny Leon (“A Soldier’s Play”).

This will mark the first Broadway production of a play by the now 90-year-old Kennedy, a seminal Black experimental playwright who rose to prominence in 1964 with the experimental one-act “Funnyhouse of a Negro.”

“It’s only taken me 65 years to make it to Broadway,” Kennedy said in a statement.

McDonald previously appeared in a streaming presentation of the play in June. 

Musicals set for Thanksgiving Day Parade appearances

The casts of “Six,” “Wicked,” “Moulin Rouge!” and NBC’s “Annie Live!” will perform during this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Last year’s parade featured pre-filmed performances from several Broadway musicals in spite of the shutdown.  

Original ‘Spring Awakening’ cast to reunite for benefit concert

The original Broadway cast of “Spring Awakening” – including Jonathan Groff, Lea Michele, John Gallagher, Jr., Gideon Glick, Skylar Astin, Lilli Cooper, and Krysta Rodriguez – will reunite for a one-night-only reunion concert to benefit the Actors Fund on Monday, Nov. 15 at the Imperial Theatre.

The event, which will be directed by Michael Mayer (who staged the original Broadway production), will mark the show’s 15th anniversary. 

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