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A Look At The Fall Failures

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The NY Daily News today takes a look at what did not work, or did not work so well, this fall season in theater: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/music-arts/broadway-fall-lineup-lined-flops-article-1.1214951


http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1214949.1354827827%21/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_635/critic9f-2-web.jpg [h=4]Carolee Carmello and Edward Watts in “Scandalous,” a biomusical about evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson[/h]


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NYTimes said today:




The fall theater season on Broadway has been one of the weakest in recent memory, to judge by box office receipts and critics’ reviews, with only a handful of potential hits among the new shows. Indeed, the two best-reviewed shows of the fall have emerged as two of the worst sellers on Broadway.


The acclaimed revival of Edward Albee’s play “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” grossed only $264,854 last week, or about 40 percent of the maximum possible amount, according to box-office data released on Monday. Critics have raved about the play’s four actors, yet none are the kind of big-name stars whose celebrity can help sell a play to the tourists who buy many Broadway tickets. Another highly praised but starless revival, “The Mystery of Edwin Drood,” has also struggled through the fall; it grossed $398,767 last week, one of the lowest amounts of any musical running on Broadway.


With the final two show openings of the fall season last week – revivals of the plays “Golden Boy” and “Glengarry Glen Ross” – some relatively gloomy verdicts can be rendered. Of the 19 plays and musicals that opened on Broadway during the second half of 2012, only 2 have caught fire with ticket buyers, in large part thanks to a famous star in the cast (Al Pacino of “Glengarry”) and a famous title (the musical “Annie”). Both “Glengarry” and “Annie” made more than $1 million last week; other modestly reviewed new shows that sold well last week were “A Christmas Story,” “Elf” and “The Heiress.”


By contrast, the last few fall seasons have had at least a few critically acclaimed shows that generated buzz as well as solid-to-strong ticket sales; last fall, those productions included “Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway,” “Follies,” “Other Desert Cities,” and “Venus in Fur.” A couple of shows flopped last fall too, like “Bonnie & Clyde” and “Private Lives,” but this fall has had more duds: “Scandalous,” “The Anarchist,” and “The Performers” opened to negative reviews and quickly announced closing dates, while “Chaplin” has been selling modestly and another musical, “Rebecca,” never opened after its financing fell apart.


Some producers have blamed Hurricane Sandy for a drop in ticket sales, but popular musicals on Broadway – like “Wicked,” “The Lion King,” and “The Book of Mormon” – weathered Sandy with little damage at the box office. Over all last week, Broadway musicals and plays grossed $23.8 million, compared to $22.2 million for the previous week and $25 million for the same week last fall.

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