Just like in 2005 when it sold $825 million in tickets, experts project that the Broadway theatre is going to set attendance and ticket sales records in 2006. The thrill of attending any Broadway show can not be overstated. You can experience the crisp and emotional songs of musicals, the beauty of design elements and the excitement of a character coming to life before your eyes. New York City's Theatre District is known for its world-class performances. Broadway is New York's top entertainment draw. This year, the Great White Way continues to showcase the popular favorites from 2005, while several new plays are also slated to open.
Continuing on from 2005 into 2006 At the Majestic Theatre, Phantom of the Opera continues to break attendance and ticket sales records. The show arrived on Broadway on January 26, 1988. On January 9th, 2006, the musical became the longest running play in the history of Broadway with its 7, 486th performance. Phantom won several Tony awards, including best musical, best performance by a lead actor (Michael Crawford as the Phantom) and best performance by a featured actress in a musical (Judy Kaye as the opera diva Carlotta Giudicelli).
Additional Tony's were awarded for lighting, scenic and costume design. At the St. James Theatre, The Producers opened in 2005 and continues to enjoy sold out performances. The Producers has won more Tony awards than any other show on Broadway. This Mel Brooks musical is about a Broadway producer and an accountant who convince various elderly women to invest in a Broadway show. They over capitalize the show, taking in more money than they can ever payback even if it was to become a hit.
They produce a musical that they are sure will never make it past opening night and make plans to take off with the money. Their "best laid plans" go awry. The Producers will run through 2006 and will continue to delight ticket buyers. The Color Purple opened at the Broadway Theatre on December 1, 2005, and has been sold out every night since.
This production has been said to stir the soul. The Color Purple grosses about 2 million dollars a week in current and advanced sales. It is considered to be one of the top 5 revenue producing musicals on the boards. Some predict that in 2006, The Color Purple may top all current musicals in ticket sales. Other plays that broke records are Beauty and the Beast, Doubt, Jersey Boys and The Lion King.
Beauty and the Beast , at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, set a record in sales of $1,229,825 and is the 6th longest running show of all time. Doubt broke records for the Walter Kerr Theatre. This play has won both Tony and Pulitzer Prizes. Jersey Boys at the August Wilson Theatre continues to be considered Broadway's freshest and newest musical. The Lion King, another Tony winner, will be moving to the Minskoff Theatre in June 2006.
This play's record sales breaking momentum is sure to continue. Coming in 2006 Mary Poppins, the extremely popular 1964 Walt Disney film, has made its way to Broadway. Performances will begin in October or November of 2006 at the New Amsterdam Theatre. Mary Poppins has had a tremendous run in London and will no doubt become very popular in New York. The Wedding Singer will open on April 27, 2006 at the Al Hirshfeld Theatre. This musical is based on a very popular movie, which focuses on a man named Robbie Hart who sings in a band that performs at weddings.
His desire to find the girl of his dreams comes at one of his wedding gigs when he meets an enchanting young woman. They become friends but she is engaged to another man. If the Broadway play is as close in popularity as the movie, tickets will be difficult to obtain. Tarzan, another popular movie, is set to open on Broadway during the month of March. It is the story of a boy raised in the wild by animals; it was first a novel written by Englishman Edgar Rice Burroughs. The popularity of Tarzan in literary or film form.
On March 12, 2006, Ring of Fire, a musical tribute to country legend Johnny Cash, opens at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. This year Walk the Line, a movie about Cash, won several Golden Globes. If it can hold the boards, this play has the potential to bring innumerable country music fans into the Barrymore.
Broadway's success in 2005 has rolled over into 2006. As many as 30 new shows are slated to come to Broadway in 2006. Some will be huge hits and many more will close in less than a week. Is the next Phantom of the Opera waiting in the wings? Only time will tell. .
By: Rita R. Powers