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'Evita' to close in January when Martin, Roger, and Cerveris leave

The Broadway revival of Evita — faced with trying to replace Ricky Martin,Elena Roger and Michael Cerveris — will instead close when the Big Three leave early next year.

Producers of the Tony Award-nominated revival of Tim Rice’s and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s landmark musical said Tuesday night they have decided against plans for an open-ended run after Martin, Roger and Cerveris leave after the Jan. 26 performance.

“Our extensive search for a new cast presented the significant challenges of not only replacing a high-caliber trio of stars but also synchronizing the schedules of potential replacements with that of the production,” producer Hal Luftig said in a statement. “Despite going down the road with a variety of artists, the planets have simply not aligned for us to engage the right talent at the right time.”

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Ricky Martin auctions off pants, tweets photo to prove it

Ricky Martin is still “livin’ la vida loca.”

The bangin’ singer-turned-Broadway star tweeted a pantsless picture of himself over the weekend (your treat for the day) after auctioning off his trousers to benefit the nonprofit AIDS fundraising organization Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. You know what that means, right? You can finally get into Ricky Martin’s pants!

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Broadway box office report: Without Ricky Martin, do cry for 'Evita'

It seems that the hit Broadway revival of Evita needs more than just a little bit of star quality. In fact, it very much needs a star of the caliber of Ricky Martin — whose vacation last week had a huge impact on the musical’s box office. The show, which has grossed at least $1.1 million per week since its first preview performance in March, managed only $643,663 for the week ending July 8, according to figures from the Broadway League. That’s a drop of nearly 46 percent. Luckily, Martin’s holiday is a brief one (he’ll also be out Aug. 5 – 11), and he’s signed onto the Andrew Lloyd Webber tuner through January.

Over at Peter and the Starcatcher, which had seen a box office boost since picking up five Tony Awards last month, sales fell 24 percent to $520,608 in the first week since Tony winner Christian Borle left the show to shoot the second season of NBC’s Broadway-set drama Smash. Without the swash of Borle as over-the-top pirate Black Stache, audience interest seems to have buckled.

Overall, box office was down 2.5 percent from the previous week, to $22.4 million. Even without Evita, six shows managed to hold their standing in the Great White Way’s million-dollar club: The Lion King ($1.998 million), Wicked ($1.92 million), Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark ($1.7 million), The Book of Mormon ($1.6 million), Newsies ($1.03 million), and Once ($1 million).

Related:
‘Once,’ ‘Porgy and Bess’ both get big post-Tony box office bumps
‘Peter and the Starcatcher’ gets box office bump even before Tony wins
EW’s Stage Hub

'Once,' 'Porgy and Bess' both get big post-Tony box office bumps

In the first full week since the June 10 Tony Awards, Once (pictured at left) and The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess both posted big gains in ticket sales. Once, which claimed eight prizes, including Best Musical, earned $955,362 for the week ending June 17, an increase of 13 percent from the previous week and about 81 percent of its potential gross. According to the Broadway League, two other new shows saw gains of roughly 12 percent last week: the Tony-winning revival Porgy and Bess ($655,364, roughly half its potential gross) and the comedy One Man, Two Guvnors, starring the Best Actor in a Play winner James Corden ($648,405, nearly 70 percent its potential gross). READ FULL STORY

'Peter and the Starcatcher' gets box office bump even before Tony wins

peter-and-the-starcatcher-review

Even before Christian Borle picked up his Featured Actor Tony for Peter and the Starcatcher Sunday night, the Peter Pan prequel was winning over Broadway audiences. The play had its best week ever, earning $541,177 for the week ending June 10, according to figures from the Broadway League. That’s a healthy 27-percent jump from the previous week — certainly nothing for Borle’s Black Stache to snigger at. (In addition to Borle’s acting prize, the show earned three other Tonys in technical categories.) Overall, Broadway box office was up nearly $1.9 million last week — an impressive achievement considering that the $1 million-grossing drama Death of a Salesman had closed on June 2.

Given the promotional platform of last night’s all-time-lowest-rated Tony telecast, we should expect a box office windfall in coming weeks for the evening’s big victors, particularly eight-fold musical winner Once. (Last week, the movie-based musical played to nearly full houses and grossed $845,343, 85 percent of its potential gross. Look for both ticket prices and profitability to climb quickly.) Musicals like The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, Newsies, and Nice Work If You Can Get It boasted both multiple Tony wins and solid production numbers that translated well to the small screen. Even musicals like Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Ghost that came up empty-handed in the Tony derby may see a modest uptick in advance sales thanks to their televised numbers.

Some of the Tony broadcast’s production numbers may have a more cautionary effect. I suspect that virtually no Tony viewers were swayed to buy tickets to the long-flailing revival of Godspell — or to book a Royal Caribbean cruise to see that shaky non-Equity production of Hairspray. Indeed, Godspell posted its worst box office returns ever last week, down 7 percent to $156,437. Prepare ye the way of a closing notice. And last season’s musical Priscilla Queen of the Desert, which will have its last performance June 24, was down 6 percent to $487,923 — the second worst full week in the production’s 15-month run.

As for straight plays, Tony winners such as Clybourne Park and One Man, Two Guvnors now have fresh promotional fodder to lure audiences. The acting prizes arrive too late to help two long-running new plays, Other Desert Cities and Venus in Fur, which are due to close this Sunday. And without Tonys to tout, some other new non-musical plays may struggle to hang on through the end of summer. The Blair Underwood-led revival of A Streetcar Named Desire was flat compared to the previous week, grossing $299,235, and The Lyons took in a mere $239,983 — in both cases, that was less than 30 percent of their potential gross.

Read more:
Tonys: 10 moments we loved
Tony Awards 2012: Broadway Style!
Tony Awards: Check out the full list of winners here!
EW’s Stage hub

Inside the Tony Award Nominees: Best Revival of a Musical

As we look ahead to the Tony Awards on Sunday, June 10, EW is taking a closer look at this season’s top new musicals, plays, and revivals, all of which will be competing for Broadway’s highest honor! Today, we dive into this year’s nominees for Best Revival of a Musical:

Evita

Opened: April 5, 2012

Starring: Elena Roger, Ricky Martin, Michael Cerveris

Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber; lyrics by Tim Rice; choreographed by Rob Ashford; directed by Michael Grandage

Synopsis: Andrew Lloyd Webber’s late-’70s style-crunching tuner chronicles the life of Argentine first lady Eva Perón (Roger), from her early life as a wannabe actress sleeping her way up the social ladder in Buenos Aires to her meteoric rise to political power as the charismatic wife of President Juan Perón (Cerveris). READ FULL STORY

Tony Awards 2012: We predict the winners

Now is the time for Newsies fans and theater geeks everywhere to seize the day! It’s Tony time! This Sunday, Neil Patrick Harris will be donning his tux once again to host the annual celebration of Broadway’s finest moments (and we’ll be live-blogging the Tony Award ceremony, so please watch with us!). In a repeat from last year’s NPH-led event, expect another rash of jokes at the expense of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. Fellow EW critic Melissa Rose Bernardo and I here offer our predictions in all the Tony categories (you’ll see our names after each of our picks). Disagree? Please let us know who you think will win — or should win — in the comments section. (For more Stage coverage, go to EW.com’s Stage hub.)

Best Play
Clybourne Park (Thom)
Other Desert Cities
(Melissa)
Peter and the Starcatcher
Venus in Fur

It’s one of the strongest years in recent memory for new American plays. While Jon Robin Baitz’s Other Desert Cities won wide acclaim when it opened last year, I give the edge to Pulitzer winner Clybourne Park.

Best Musical
Leap of Faith
Newsies
(Melissa, Thom)
Nice Work If You Can Get It
Once

This is a two-way race between movie-based hits that each have an underdog story: Once and Newsies. The former is charming but relatively small-scale. And since a sizable number of Tony voters handle Broadway tours throughout the country, a more traditional, broader-based hit like Newsies is likely to win out. READ FULL STORY

'Evita,' 'Peter and the Starcatcher' to launch national tours

Once was first, Nice Work was next, and now two more of this year’s major Tony Award nominees have announced plans to launch U.S. tours in 2013.

The Ricky Martin-led revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita will kick off its first national tour in the fall at the Providence Performing Arts Center in Providence, Rhode Island (although the inclusion of Martin on the tour is relatively unlikely). As Evita finds out what’s new with rural Rhode Island, the vivid, imaginative Peter and the Starcatcher will be set sail on its first tour at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in Denver, Colorado in August.

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