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September Was Warm on Broadway, Too

Thursday, November 6, 2014   (0 Comments)

New York Times (10/01/14) Healy, Patrick

New productions and long-running musicals helped elevate September ticket sales on Broadway to their highest levels since the 2008 recession, with unusually high demand marked by average ticket prices topping $100 in the middle of the month. Several producers are benefiting from disregarding the conventional wisdom that sales slow in September due to declines in tourism, the onset of the school year, and the Jewish holidays. “Broadway is a global brand now—it’s no longer dependent on a handful of demographics buying tickets—and I thought people would want to see a play if it’s good and has stars they love,” notes producer Tom Kirdahy. His decision to mount a production of "It's Only a Play" starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick has significantly paid off, as the production is expected to gross more than $1 million a week through September. Also atypical for September was the many producers who gambled on plays, which tend to gross less than musicals; seven new plays or revivals had previews or opened in September, versus four plays last September. Fifteen percent more people flocked to Broadway shows in the final full week of September than they did in the same week last year. Still, Theater Development Fund executive director Victoria Bailey foresees a looming saturation point for plays. “Many people can’t afford to see multiple shows," Bailey says.

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