Whoever said the road to Broadway was an easy one? But fickle investors are now making the road for new shows on some of the world’s most popular stages even harder to find.
The 2012-2013 Broadway season (June 1 to May 31) has already produced very few new musicals. But new shows in general are on the decline with many suffering repeated delays and extended out of town tours before they hit New York.
Roughly 75 percent of shows on Broadway never turn a profit because ticket sales come nowhere near covering the high costs for backstage labor, cast and crew salaries, advertising, theater rent and other expenses in an industry that has some 15 unions. (The New York Times 6/1/13)
Is this necessarily a bad thing? It seems investors are getting more savvy and refusing to part with their cash until they see a show that might turn a profit … and who can blame them? The bad side of this equation is that the public suffer with reruns instead of new material. The good side surely means better new quality shows on Broadway and hopefully a stall to escalating costs behind the scenes.
One show that has received repeated delays for Broadway is Flashdance The Musical. The stage adaptation of the 1983 hit film was in a different form on London’s West End in 2010. Many of the songs from that version have now been scrapped and the show has been reworked, delayed for Broadway twice and put on a regional tour until investors are happy with the creative product for the $12 million production. Flashdance is now set for an August 2013 Broadway opening. Third time lucky, perhaps?