Broadway breaks box office records

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By Ivan Pereira

The curtain has closed on another record season for the Great White Way, thanks to the enduring power of “Hamilton,” a healthy dose of nostalgia and an infusion of celebrity talent hitting the boards — and higher ticket prices, too.

The Broadway League announced Tuesday that the 2016-2017 season ended with a best-ever $1.45 billion in ticket sales. More than 13 million people from around the world bought tickets to a show during that period.

Overall admissions in the season that began on May 29, 2016, and ended on Sunday, saw a slight dip, dropping by a total of approximately 46,000, to 13,271,252 compared with 2015-2016’s 13,317,980. The average ticket price, $109.21, stands as a $6 increase over the previous season.

Laurence Maslon, a noted Broadway expert who teaches acting at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, highlighted the diversity of shows being offered.

That’s everything from revivals of cherished musicals such as “Hello, Dolly!” to adaptations of movies like “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” not to mention original work ranging from the musical “Dear Evan Hansen” (the highest grossing new production of the season) to the play about the famed Mideast peace accords, “Oslo.”

Of course, grosses were helped by mega popular returnees such as “Hamilton,” “The Book of Mormon” and “Aladdin.” Stars from Bette Midler in “Dolly!,” to Glenn Close returning to “Sunset Boulevard” and Kevin Kline in “Present Laughter.”

“There seems to be a lot of ‘channels’ to choose from this year,” Maslon said.

Of course, secondhand sites have spiraled the real cost of seeing a Broadway show, but Tim Tompkins, the president of the Times Square Alliance, believes the tourists who purchase the bulk of admissions accept the prices because the experience is so central to any New York visit.

“People say they are going to come to the experience and say this is part of a distinctive experience that we can’t get anywhere,” said Tim Tompkins, the president of the Times Square Alliance.

While this season hasn’t seen a new sensation to rival “Hamilton,” Lin-Manuel Miranda’s iconic creation has left its mark. Like “The Producers” during the early 2000s, its legacy can be felt in shows like “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812,” which has ridden a historical story and rock and EDM influences to 12 Tony nominations.

“People are looking for adventurous experiences. ‘Great Comet’ has nothing to do with ‘Hamilton’ but has everything to do with telling a different kind of story,” Maslon said.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 24th, 2017 at 5:26 pm and is filed under amNewYork, Breaking News, Entertainment, Print Articles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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