Broadway Ignores Recession

We all remember January, right? Only six months ago, Broadway saw a flurry of shows close prematurely, most putting it down to tough economic times due to the global recession. Things were looking a little hairy for a while there, as like a stack of falling dominos, one show after another closed on Broadway.

Here we are in mid-July and while granted, it is summer in America and school vacation, but it’s still summer vacation in the middle of a recession, yeah?

Recent Broadway grosses show amazing box office success. So much so, Broadway looks like it is going against the grain. Here’s a recent set of figures for the top ten Broadway shows in the week beginning July 12, 2009:

  1. Wicked $1,616,649
  2. Billy Elliot: The Musical $1,435,728
  3. The Lion King $1428,246
  4. West Side Story $1,337,970
  5. Jersey Boys $1,151,026
  6. Hair $1,077,578
  7. Mamma Mia $994,321
  8. God of Carnage $971,161
  9. Shrek The Musical $946,563
  10. The Little Mermaid $931,435

Standing out is the fact that six of Broadways top ten shows grossed over $1 million in the given week, with the remaining four grossing $900,000+. Most of the shows were at or near 100% capacity and somehow Wicked, which used to gross in the $1.3 million range, now sits comfortably around $1.6 million each week.

Somehow, somewhere, people are finding the money to spend on what many would view as pure luxury in tough economic times, and go to the theatre.

Most pleasing, of course, is seeing a play rough it out with the big boys. God of Carnage is still playing to full houses as the only play in amongst a swag of musicals in Broadway’s top grossing shows.

Right now, anyway, Broadway seems to be defying the global recession…

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2 Responses

  1. Wade says:

    Terrific blog! Keep the posts coming. Feel free to visit my website — we’ve got a forum that has a lot of lurkers, but not many comments. It might be a good place for you to plug your blog.

  2. Daniel Borbely says:

    Hay Cashy,
    Saw an interesting documentary on the 80s in Britain during the height of Thatcherism. Industrial production fell sharply, unemployment tripled and despite economic gain the poverty rate doubled. Lots of discontent and hardship, yet for the West End it was boom time; Sir Andrew LW was raking in the dough with his commercially packaged popular musicals. Escapism is the life-blood of entertainment, and it seems people are in need of it most in times of hardship.

    Check it out on YouTube:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pD2Fpjuy51g&feature=related

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