2023 roared into existence with over 1,000,000+ people watching the Ball Drop LIVE in Times Square, the official home of Broadway shows.
There were moments after COVID-19 that seemed to hold Broadway shows as hostages, with productions bleeding money. But like they say in the community — “the show must go on” — with Broadway shows grossing $51.9 million during the holiday week, the most since 2019. Don’t get it wrong. Broadway still needs to improve. The 33 shows running grossed $51.9 million and back to the classic “The Lion King” — which just celebrated its 25th anniversary, the legendary musical grossed $4.3 million, which is the most ever taken in by a show in a single week on Broadway.
“The Lion King,” with a nine-performance week, toppled the previous record for the top-grossing week by a single show, which had been held by “Hamilton,” which grossed $4 million for eight performances during the week that ended December 30, 2018. (The figures are not adjusted for inflation.) Charlotte St. Martin, the president of the Broadway League, is always hopeful. “What you see is that we’re continuing to build and maintain our audience,” said St. Martin. “We’re not back to where we were, but we’re doing very well at a time of uncertainty.”
If you have kids, then you know the books Dog Man by Dav Pilkey. For those who love the series, the news that Dog Man The Musical (based on Dav Pilkey’s books) is returning to NYC for only eight weeks is a great way to start 2023! Pilkey is an award-winning and worldwide bestselling author and illustrator of Captain Underpants and Cat Kid Comic Club. An all-new Dog Man book, Dog Man: Twenty Thousand Fleas Under the Sea, will be published by Scholastic on March 28, 2023.
TheaterWorksUSA will bring the musical back to New York, beginning its limited eight-week run on March 4 through April 30 at New World Stages (350 West 50 Street). The musical is a NY Times Critic’s Pick, Dog Man: The Musical has been called an “Epic musical” (New York Family) that is “Non-stop enjoyment from beginning to end” (Plays to See). DogManTheMusical.com/.
The new musical & JULIET has broken the box office record at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre (124 W 43 ST), grossing $1,639,788.20 for the 9-performance week ending January 1, 2023, with an average ticket price of $177.29 and a highest premium price of $325.00. The previous record has been held since 2014 by Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, which grossed $1,546,950.20 for the 9-performance week of December 28, 2014, with an average ticket price of $174.90 and a highest premium price of $350.00.
Manhattan Theatre Club’s upcoming world premiere, The Best We Could (a family tragedy), written by Emily Feldman (Three Women in Four Chairs, My Lover Joan) and directed by Daniel Aukin (Fool For Love, Fulfillment Center) will begin previews Tuesday, February 7, 2023, ahead of a Wednesday, March 1, 2023 opening night. The play is about a daughter’s road trip with her father that becomes a theatrical journey across more than just state lines. www.nycitycenter.org
Chicago — celebrating 26 years and over 10,000 Broadway performances of the 1996 revival of Kander & Ebb’s Chicago—is celebrating with an exclusive re-issue of the cast album, an elegant deep red marble vinyl with a 4-panel (folded) insert. Winner of the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical, the cast recording features iconic Tony Winners Ann Reinking, Bebe Neuwirth, James Naughton, and Joel Grey and is available here. https://chicagothemusical.com/
Hadestown just passed its 918th performance making the Tony and Grammy Award-winning musical the longest-running show in the 100-year history of the Walter Kerr Theatre (219 West 48th Street), surpassing previous record-holder Proof and other beloved productions such as A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Doubt, Love! Valour! Compassion!, Angels in America, Springsteen on Broadway, Seven Guitars, My Sister Eileen, and many others. www.seatgeek.com/hadestown-tickets
August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson (directed by Tony Award® nominee LaTanya Richardson Jackson ) has officially become the highest-grossing Wilson play on Broadway in history. The production was extended by popular demand — through January 29, 2023, and remains the highest-grossing revival of a play on Broadway. Tony Award® nominee Richardson Jackson made her Broadway directorial debut and is the first woman to direct an August Wilson play on Broadway. The drama stars Samuel L. Jackson as Doaker Charles, John David Washington as Boy Willie, and Danielle Brooks as Berniece.
Broadway’s SIX musical celebrated New Year with box office record $1,649,206.00 gross weekly ticket sales and 100.2% capacity for January 1, 2023. It’s impressive. This Broadway Tony Award-winning hit closed out 2022 with a new box office record at the Lena Horne Theatre, grossing $1,649,206.00 for eight shows of the holiday performance week ending January 1, 2023, besting the previous record of $1,357,276.00 set by the hit musical. The average capacity was 100.20%. (SIX does not perform this weekend, December 31, 2022/January 1, 2023).
Richard Rodriguez contributed to this article