The first official post-Tony casualty will be Neil LaBute's Reasons to Be Pretty, which will close June 14th after about 80 regular performances. But that's a play, right, dear reader? We wanna know which musical will close first, don't we?
My money is on the Guys and Dolls revival, which last week played to 61% capacity, with an average ticket of about $70. The show's grosses have been heading steadily downward since hitting a high of about $750,000 in April, and have lately been around $400,000. And the lackluster Guys and Dolls production number on the Tony broadcast, combined with a grand total of zero Tonys earned, probably won't help to turn that trend around.
On the "original" musical front, the show that would seem to be in the most immediate danger is 9 to 5, which played to about 75% percent last week, with an average ticket of $75. The show's recent weekly grosses of around $750,000 might be enough to keep it alive, if it can sustain that level of performance. I have a feeling that the show may last through the summer, buoyed by the strong tourist trade in New York, but will probably close come fall.
Then there's Next to Normal. Although the show has recently seen its attendance rise to more than 90%, its average ticket has been about $65. The show's grosses have peaked at around $350,000, although since the show has a cast of six and a modest band, that may be enough to keep the show afloat. Will the show's three Tonys (best score, best actress, and a shared Tony for best orchestrations) give it a much-needed lift in its grosses? N2N does seem to be building a significant following, but then so did [title of show].
As for the musicals that have legs, clearly Billy Elliot and West Side Story are in no danger of closing any time soon. Both are doing spectacularly at the box office. (Click on the show titles for historical grosses.) And Hair, after a slow start, has been growing steadily in ticket sales and grosses, and I see that growing even stronger after its Tony win for best revival and the national exposure from the show's terrific title number.
What's your take, dear reader? Did the Tony broadcast make you more or less likely to see the shows listed above? Which do you think will last, and which are not long for this world?
P.S. When I originally posted on this topic, I completely forgot about Shrek. Kinda tells you something, doesn't it? Well, Shrek is a real wild card, and rather tough to predict, because rumor has it that the show has pretty much been running in the red since it opened. The show's average ticket price has been about $70, its attendance at about 70%, and its grosses around $650,000. Many other musicals would be able to make a profit at that level, but Shrek has a huge cast and presumably a pretty big weekly nut to meet. But but since Dreamworks has really deep pockets, and a tremendous amount to prove, there's no telling how long they're going to be willing to run the show at a loss before taking it on tour and cleaning up in the provinces.
P.P.S. Where is my head today? I also forgot about Rock of Ages. Mea culpa, dear reader. Well, ROA has also been seeing its grosses increase steadily since it opened. Lately it's been pulling in about $450,000 a week, and it very well could be making a profit at that level. The average ticket has risen slowly from about $40 to around $64, which is OK, but could be better. But what's interesting is that the attendance percentage has stayed roughly the same, about 90%. Which means that the audience size has been relatively constant, but the amount that people are paying to see the show is rising. If that continues, the show might just return its investment and settle in for a profitable run.