The Broadway Pulse with Robert Diamond

The Broadway Pulse by Editor-in-Chief, Robert Diamond, highlights the most interesting goings on in the world of theater - online and off...Subscribe to RSS or follow on Twitter.

Takeaways from Tony Nominees + SHE LOVES ME

The past 48 hours have been amongst the craziest and busiest days of our year at BroadwayWorld, and I think I can speak for the whole team that we’ve loved every minute. 

On Tuesday, we got the reactions of nearly 50 Tony nominees to their being honored with a Tony nomination, and on Wednesday we got to meet them all to capture them for photos and videos (that we’ll be rolling out all month across the site, our apps and social media). 

It’s always a jam-packed event, and getting to watch as a ‘fly on the wall’ while our brilliant interviewer Richie Ridge gets to do his thing is fascinating from start to finish. Some nominees react with pure joy, reflecting back on their personal and the show’s journeys to this moment. Some take it in a spiritual sense, honoring the recognition and its place in their lives. A number of them will graciously talk about how they wouldn’t be there without the performances of many unrecognized members of their shows. I can’t wait to re-watch them all as the videos go up. 

And, speaking of re-watching, this week we also ran one of my favorite videos ever - Backstage with Richie Ridge’s live Sag Foundation co-produced panel with the 4 lovely leads of SHE LOVES ME. Jane Krakowski, Laura Benanti, Zachary Levi and Gavin Creel all were open, honest, insightful, hilarious and real as they talked about the show, the struggles and fears that all actors (well, people) face and so much more. Watch that one, here or below. 

 

Posted on: Thursday, May 05, 2016 @ 09:29 AM Read, Respond & Share: comments

Happy Tony Nominations, Reactions and WWAD?

The Tony nominations were announced this morning, and I'm sure if you're reading this you've already devoured them several times... If not, here they are

Congrats to all of the nominees, and equally big congrats to everyone that's been a part of this incredible, diverse and creatively fulfilling season. I'm also adding "What would Audra do?" to my daily affirmations. 

After the nominations come out is one of my favorite mornings of the year as our team fielded calls with several dozen nominees across all the categories to find out where they heard the news, quick reflections on their show's journey and more. Catch up with everyone from Lin-Manuel Miranda to Steve Martin, here.

Happy Tony Nominations, Reactions and WWAD?

and in other good news... or if your favorites were overlooked, look for the opening of the 2016 BroadwayWorld Awards next - the largest fully open online voting for all things Broadway (and off) later this week. 

Bonus Shoutout - Kudos to THE HUMANS, who released two great images that play off of this year's Democratic Party race for President.  

Posted on: Tuesday, May 03, 2016 @ 05:36 PM Read, Respond & Share: comments

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Weekly Grosses Analysis - 5/2

Welcome to this week's edition of our new WEEKLY GROSSES ANALYSIS - read on for all the weekly grosses statistics for the movers and shakers from the latest grosses, for the week ending 5/1/2016.


Top 5 by This Week Gross

THE LION KING $1,950,539
HAMILTON $1,818,758
WICKED $1,625,910
ALADDIN $1,494,979
THE BOOK OF MORMON $1,332,910


Bottom 5 by This Week Gross
DISASTER! ($264,032), ECLIPSED ($269,110), THE FATHER ($294,222), TUCK EVERLASTING ($340,152), LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT ($344,594)


Top 5 by This Week Gross vs. Last Week Gross

WAITRESS $161,065
ON YOUR FEET! $137,442
FIDDLER ON THE ROOF $136,054
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA $131,605
THE COLOR PURPLE $109,483


Bottom 5 by This Week Gross vs. Last Week Gross
SHUFFLE ALONG, OR, THE MAKING OF THE MUSICAL SENSATION OF 1921 AND ALL THAT ($-100,766), THE LION KING ($-45,221), LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT ($-44,513), MATILDA ($-34,346), WICKED ($-34,104)


Top 5 by Average Ticket Price

HAMILTON $169.12
THE BOOK OF MORMON $153.00
THE LION KING $143.77
BEAUTIFUL $125.55
WICKED $118.22


Bottom 5 by Average Ticket Price
TUCK EVERLASTING ($47.26), DISASTER! ($55.09), FULLY COMMITTED ($67.30), LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT ($69.56), THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME ($70.86)


Top 5 by Gross % of Potential

HAMILTON 136.24%
THE LION KING 98.73%
THE BOOK OF MORMON 96.82%
ALADDIN 94.19%
WICKED 91.35%


Bottom 5 by Gross % of Potential
DISASTER! (23.82%), TUCK EVERLASTING (30.58%), ECLIPSED (34.13%), FINDING NEVERLAND (39.57%), BRIGHT STAR (40.51%)


Top 5 % of Seats Sold of Total Seats

THE BOOK OF MORMON 102.2%
HAMILTON 101.8%
WAITRESS 100.8%
THE LION KING 100.0%
ALADDIN 99.7%


Bottom 5 % of Seats Sold of Total Seats
DISASTER! (50.0%), ECLIPSED (55.9%), FINDING NEVERLAND (61.7%), JERSEY BOYS (62.1%), BRIGHT STAR (62.1%)


Top 5 by Seats Sold This Week vs. Last Week

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF 1634
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA 1427
ON YOUR FEET! 1059
AN AMERICAN IN PARIS 1043
THE COLOR PURPLE 939


Bottom 5 by Seats Sold This Week vs. Last Week
FINDING NEVERLAND (-638), MATILDA (-621), AMERICAN PSYCHO (-475), TUCK EVERLASTING (-423), THE FATHER (-352)

That's all for this week... Other statistics that you'd like to see? Let us know!

Posted on: Monday, May 02, 2016 @ 04:37 PM Read, Respond & Share: comments

Morning Must Read - RENT: The Oral History

Vulture.com has a fantastic feature up this morning, RENT: The Oral History. As the introduction promises, "Twenty years after Jonathan Larson’s posthumous triumph arrived on Broadway, the cast and creative team relive the rise of a musical that changed theater."

If you read one piece not on BroadwayWorld today -- let this be up. 

Posted on: Monday, May 02, 2016 @ 09:15 AM Read, Respond & Share: comments

'Turn It Off' with AN AMERICAN IN PARIS + Bravo to Laura Benanti

Amongst the many great numbers at this year's BC/EFA Easter Bonnet Competition alongside the FUN HOME kids' 'Gee Mr. Miranda' and the cast of HAMILTON's SWEENEY TODD tribute was the below from Max von Essen and Brandon Uranowitz of AN AMERICAN IN PARIS. (Max gets bonus points btw, for knowing when to 'turn it on' as he helped to create the #SIP Saturday Intermission Picture trend that he and Andrew Keenan-Bolger launched in 2012). 

In it, they lament theatre audiences’ addiction to taking photos and using their smartphones during shows with a wonderful comedic turn on THE BOOK OF MORMON number and then the presentation of an equally brilliant award-winning bonnet.

I'm sure that no one reading this blog are among the problem audience members who are part of the litany of beeping, bonging, ringing and lit up devices - but I know you'll also appreciate the below. As those who know me (or have the poor fortune to live with me) can attest, I'm rarely disconnected - but doing so in the theatre is part of what makes it great, and how you're both present and part of the communal experience.

Also, reportedly last night at SHE LOVES ME, Laura Benanti was forced to stop the show after a cell phone went off *repeatedly* during 'Will He Like Me?'. The savvy star after the 3rd ring, calmly noted "I'll wait." When it rang again, and with the orchestra-stopped she further noted "We'll all wait." Finally, they turned their phone off. The thought of that beautiful song and performance being interrupted makes my left eye twitch. Brava to her. 

So, Turn It Off! 


 

Posted on: Sunday, May 01, 2016 @ 08:39 AM Read, Respond & Share: comments

Get Ready for the Tony Nominations; Complete List of Tony Committee Rulings

The Nominations for the 2016 Tony Awards will be announced live on Tuesday, May 3, 2016, from the Diamond Horseshoe at The Paramount Hotel in New York City. Below is the complete list of eligibility decisions (All other eligibility rulings were consistent with opening night billing.) Plan to follow along with BroadwayWorld all the live long day...

Scott Pask and Peter Nigrini will be considered jointly eligible in the Best Scenic Design of a Play category for their work in An Act of God.

Lin-Manuel MirandaLeslie Odom, Jr. and Phillipa Soo will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor/Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical categories for their respective performances in Hamilton. 

Austin P. McKenzie and Sandra Mae Frank will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor/Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical categories for their respective performances in Spring Awakening.

Dane Laffrey and Lucy Mackinnon will be considered jointly eligible in the Best Scenic Design of a Musical category for their work in Spring Awakening.

Sam Rockwell and Nina Arianda will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor/Actress in a Leading Role in a Play categories for their respective performances in Fool for Love.

Robert Sella and Julie White will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor/Actress in a Featured Role in a Play categories for their respective performances in Sylvia. 

Cary Tedder and Eloise Kropp will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor/Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical categories for their respective performances in Dames at Sea.

Gabriel Ebert and Judith Light will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor/Actress in a Featured Role in a Play categories for their respective performances in Thérèse Raquin. 

Fool for Love and Sylvia will be considered eligible in the Best Revival of a Play category.

Dames at Sea will be considered eligible in the Best Revival of a Musical category.

Tim Pigott-Smith will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play category for his performance in King Charles III. 

Ana Villafañe and Josh Segarra will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actress/Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical categories for their respective performances in On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan

Telly Leung and Lea Salonga will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor/Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical categories for their respective performances in Allegiance.

Donyale Werle and Darrel Maloney will be considered jointly eligible in the Best Scenic Design of a Musical category for their work in Allegiance.

Phoebe FoxRussell ToveyMichael ZegenMichael Gould and Richard Hansell will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor/Actress in a Featured Role in a Play categories for their respective performances in A View from the Bridge.

Alex Brightman will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical category for his performance in School of Rock - The Musical. 

Jennifer Hudson will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical category for her performance in The Color Purple.

Jessica Hecht will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical category for her performance in Fiddler on the Roof.

Andrea Martin, Campbell Scott, Tracee Chimo, Daniel Davis, David Furr, Kate Jennings Grant, Megan Hilty, Rob McClure and Jeremy Shamos will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actress/Actor in a Featured Role in a Play categories for their respective performances in Noises Off.

Linda Lavin will be considered eligible in the Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Play category for her performance in Our Mother's Brief Affair.

Blackbird will be considered eligible in the Best Revival of a Play category.

Gavin Creel, Michael McGrath, Byron Jennings and Jane Krakowski will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actress/Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical categories for their respective performances in She Loves Me.

Carmen Cusack will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical category for her performance in Bright Star. 

Ciarán Hinds and Saoirse Ronan will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor/Actress in a Featured Role in a Play categories for their respective performances in Arthur Miller's The Crucible. 

Frank Langella will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play category for his performance in The Father. 

Es Devlin and Finn Ross will be considered jointly eligible in the Best Scenic Design of a Musical category for their work on American Psycho. 

Jessie Mueller will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical category for her performance in Waitress.

Fully Committed will be considered eligible in the Best Revival of a Play category.

Sarah Charles Lewis will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical category for her performance in Tuck Everlasting.

Michael Shannon and John Gallagher, Jr. will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play category for their respective performances in Long Day's Journey Into Night.

Brandon Victor Dixon, Joshua HenryBrian Stokes Mitchell and Billy Porter will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical category for their respective performances in Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and all that Followed.

Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and all that Followed will be considered eligible in the Best Musical category.

All other eligibility rulings were consistent with opening night billing.

 

Posted on: Saturday, April 30, 2016 @ 11:44 AM Read, Respond & Share: comments

Happy 20th Anniversary to RENT

Today’s a special day in theatre history as it marks the 20th Anniversary of RENT opening on Broadway. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 20 years since this ground-breaking show by Jonathan Larson transferred uptown and continued rocking the world. 

We celebrated the production earlier this year, when RENT rocked New York for the first time off-Broadway. It was January 25, 1996 when Mimi, Roger, Mark, Collins, Maureen, Benny, Joanne and Angel came to life onstage at the 150-seat New York Theater Workshop- a run that would precede the show's 12-year stint on Broadway. To celebrate the show’s origins, we ran a 20 Days of RENT celebration which included some videos from the run, interviews with nearly all of the original cast, a look back and a look forward at the upcoming 20th Anniversary Tour. 

Check out our full flashback series here, along with a bonus video below of the cast performing at the Tonys back in 1996. Speaking of anniversaries, the Tony Awards turn 70 this year -- wouldn't this be a great year for a big look back at Broadway's rich history? 

 

Posted on: Friday, April 29, 2016 @ 10:26 AM Read, Respond & Share: comments

From #OscarsSoWhite -> #TonysSoDiverse + George Takei

Michael Paulson has written a great piece in today’s NY Times, After #OscarsSoWhite, Broadway Seeks a #TonysSoDiverse in which he covers the rich and diverse theatre season that comes to an end with SHUFFLE ALONG’s opening tonight (we’ll be reporting live as always). The season has been an amazing one and very diverse in every sense of the word. That’s been good news for those onstage and off this year as the shows have been attracting new audiences and are telling a variety of wonderful and varied stories. We field dozens of daily inquires via BWW's Pick-a-Show feature and have seen this reflected via the site's expert inquiries as well. 

Don't just take my word for it though, as George Takei has penned a Thank you note to Broadway, in which he writes: 

Friends,

I am writing to give thanks to the Broadway community--for not being Hollywood. In a year when the movie industry celebrated only white actors for awards, then used gross stereotypes of Asians during the broadcast to gain cheap laughs, Broadway celebrated its most divrse year ever. 

We told important, often untold stories from a myriad new storytellers. I am grateful that shows like Hamilton, On Your Feet, The Color Purple, Shuffle Along and Allegiance brought not only underrepresented voices to the stage, but critical employment opportunities for minority actors as well as many new communities and audiences to New York theaters.

On a personal note, I am especially thankful I have had the opportunity, at the age of 78, to fulfill a lifelong dream to tell the story of the Japanese American internment. Our Broadway production was able to reach 120,000 audience members, the same number as those who were unjustly imprisoned out of base fear and prejudice. Each of those audience members are now part of our story. They will help ensure that we never forget the difficult lessons of the past. Indeed, our show could not have had more contemporary resonance, as certain politicians once again stoke public fears, and call for profiling and surveillance of whole groups of innocent people. 

Because of the incredible support of the Broadway community, Allegiance and its important story were able to delight, entertain and inform thousands. We now look forward to bringing it to more audiences across the country and around the world. It is our hope that this story and its message will not be forgotten and that, thanks to Broadway, Allegiance indeed will live long, and prosper.

From the depth of my heart to all of the incredible Broadway community, thank you.

George Takei

Well put. 

Our research shows that most aren't surefire precursors to Tony nominations...and even less so this year due to HAMILTON's Off-Broadway production that scooped up numerous awards last year making them ineligible for those awards that include both Bway and Off. But, you can now check out the full lists of Drama Desk, Drama League, and Outer Critics Circle noms. 

The official Tony nominations countdown is on, and we're all catching up on sleep and preparing enormous amounts of caffeine for next Tuesday's nominations. We'll be live on BWW from 8am until we drop! 

Posted on: Thursday, April 28, 2016 @ 11:05 AM Read, Respond & Share: comments

Josh Groban Prepares for Broadway with Fun Video Series

THE GREAT COMET is currently in pre-production for its Broadway-bow at the Imperial Theatre (previews begin in October, the show opens officially in November). 

Leading the cast, and preparing for his Broadway debut, Josh Groban is doing his homework by getting advice from fellow Broadway newbies and vets on preparation, keeping things fresh and much more. I personally can't wait for this one, and to see how it's adapted and enlarged to fit the space. (Plus, do we still get vodka?)







This is a fun idea, and an even more fun video series filled with insights about the process & the business of Broadway. The countdown is on!

 

Posted on: Wednesday, April 27, 2016 @ 11:38 AM Read, Respond & Share: comments

Two Great Reads by Two Great Women

A new web publication, Stage & Candor launched with two (amongst others) wonderful pieces by two great women of the theatre. 

Play Like a Man, an essay by Georgia Stitt launches from a tale of About twenty years ago, the first composer to hire me for a professional job said to me, “I like the way you play the piano. You play like a man.” into some wonderful information on The Lilly Awards Foundation, The Count, being ladylike (or not) and changing the culture. 

And Marsha Norman writes On PlaywritingWhat are we doing when we write for the stage? Are we entertaining ourselves? Entertaining others? Having our say? Trying to make a living? Trying to make a point? Furthering the art form? Joining the dialogue? Trying to save the ship? Trying to sink the ship? Getting even? Getting ahead? Keeping our career alive? Completing a commission? What?

Intrigued? Me too. Check them out here.  

Posted on: Tuesday, April 26, 2016 @ 11:00 AM Read, Respond & Share: comments

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