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Tag: Motown: The Musical (1-8 of 8)

Broadway box office: Despite Tony snub, Bette Midler sees a big boost in ticket sales

Tony, Schmony. Bette Midler may have been snubbed by Tony nominators for her one-woman comedy I’ll Eat You Last, but she’s having the last laugh at the box office. According to figures from the Broadway League, ticket sales for the Divine Miss M’s first Broadway show in 30 years jumped 17 percent for the week ending May 5, to $753,217. That’s a record for the relatively tiny Booth Theatre and comes despite the fact that Midler performed only seven shows (most Broadway productions schedule eight performances per week). Her producers took advantage of premium pricing and stellar reviews, but the Tony snub also allowed them to deny Tony voters free tickets before the June 9 ceremony and re-sell those prime seats at full price.

So what’s a Tony nomination worth these days? For the musical revival Pippin and the star-studded comedy Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, the first week since the Tony noms boosted ticket sales by a healthy 10 percent. Pippin, which earned 10 nods (including Best Musical Revival), took in $785,386 for the week ending May 5 — an impressive 85 percent of the potential gross for the Music Box Theatre. Vanya, which earned 6 Tony noms, including Best Play, generated $449,073 at the Golden Theatre — roughly 60 percent of that 804-seat house’s maximum earnings. READ FULL STORY

Tony nomination surprises and snubs: Not much love for 'Motown' or Bette

There were plenty of surprises in the Tony nominations this morning, starting with the fact that the most-recognized show was Cyndi Lauper’s Kinky Boots (with 13 total nominations, including Best Musical) — and not presumed front-runner Matilda (with 12). Of course, the Roald Dahl-inspired Matilda might have picked up a tying 13th nomination had the four young actresses rotating in the title role not been ruled ineligible for Best Actress in a Musical (the quartet will share special Tony honors instead).

Plenty of familiar Hollywood names made the cut for nominations, including three in the Best Actor in a Play category: Tom Hanks (inching closer to EGOT status with his leading role in the late Nora Ephron’s play Lucky Guy), Nathan Lane for The Nance, and David Hyde Pierce for Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.

Broadway box office: 'Matilda' joins 'Motown' and 'Lucky Guy' as a new hit

Matilda has emerged as a Dahled-up hit of the new Broadway season. In its first full week since its April 11 opening, the rapturously reviewed musical earned $1.13 million for the week ending April 21, according to figures from the Broadway League. That’s a 51 percent increase in ticket sales from the previous week, and represents nearly 89 percent of the potential gross from the Shubert Theatre.

Matilda is one of four brand-new shows that joined this week’s Million Dollar Club of high earners on the Great White Way. The Tom Hanks-topped drama Lucky Guy raked in $1.41 million, fully 124 percent of its potential earnings due to premium-priced ticket sales; Motown the Musical pulled down $1.15 million, 81 percent of its maximum; and the Cyndi Lauper musical Kinky Boots kicked up $1.06 million, about 73 percent of its potential high.

Rounding out this week’s Million Dollar Club are four long-running mainstays: The Lion King ($1.84 million); Wicked ($1.81 million); The Book of Mormon ($1.67 million); and Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark ($1.06 million).

Five more shows are slated to open this week, including a high-profile (and high-flying) revival of the musical Pippin, which last week earned $683,911 (a strong 74 percent of its potential gross).  And there are early indications of box office staying power for Bette Midler’s one-woman play I’ll Eat You Last, which broke a new record last week for the relatively small Booth Theatre with $686,031 in sales. What’s even more impressive is that the Divine Miss M is playing just seven performances a week (most Broadway shows do eight).

Some other star-driven nonmusical newbies — including The Nance with Nathan Lane, Orphans with Alec Baldwin, Macbeth with Alan Cumming, and The Trip to Bountiful with Cicely Tyson and Cuba Gooding Jr. — have yet to spark much box office heat. Each show may have to hope for a strong critical embrace (several have only just opened or will be debuting in coming days) and the even stronger embrace of the Tony nominating committee (which announces its picks on April 30).

Follow Thom on Twitter: @ThomGeier

Read More on EW.com:
This Week on Stage: Alec Baldwin, Nathan Lane, The Rascals, and a slew of new openings
See Opening Night Video for The Nance
Listen to three tracks from Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812
EW Stage hub

Broadway box office: An Easter-bunny bounce for 'Cinderella,' 'Motown,' and more

The Easter Bunny brought a special treat to Broadway last week, with overall grosses up 24 percent for the week ending March 31, according to figures from the Broadway League. With a deluge of tourists in New York City for the springtime holiday season, virtually every show saw a sizable bunny-hop in sales (and far less discounting than usual). Wicked and The Lion King both topped $2 million in grosses for the week, while 11 other shows crossed the $1 million threshold.

Among the week’s Million Dollar Club were three new-this-season productions: Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella ($1.4 million), the Tom Hanks-led drama Lucky Guy ($1.25 million), and Motown: the Musical ($1.16 million). That’s the third consecutive $1 million-plus week for Motown since it began previews, a record for a brand-new show opening cold on Broadway (without a previous production Off Broadway or out of town). READ FULL STORY

Broadway box office: 'Motown' musical joins Million Dollar Club in its first week

The producers of Motown: The Musical must be dancing in the street. In its first week of previews, the Broadway show about Berry Gordy’s legendary R&B label grossed $1.03 million over just seven performances, according to figures from the Broadway League.  Motown (featuring Brandon Victor Dixon and Valisia LeKae, pictured above, as Gordy and Diana Ross) seems primed to become a regular member of the Million Dollar Club of weekly high earners, especially since it begins a standard eight-performance schedule this week. Of course, critics will also weigh in when the show officially opens April 14. In the words of the Temptations, get ready.

Two other new shows cracked the $1 million mark for the week ending March 17. Lucky Guy, the soon-to-open drama penned by the late Nora Ephron, starring Tom Hanks, played to standing-room-only houses and grossed an impressive $1.29 million, representing 115 percent of its potential gross in the Broadhurst Theatre thanks to premium ticket sales. Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella took in $1.1 million, a strong 68 percent of its potential earnings in the larger Broadway Theatre. READ FULL STORY

Berry Gordy mixes it up with the actor playing him in Broadway's 'Motown: The Musical' -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

In an exclusive video clip to promote the Broadway-bound Motown: The Musical, actor Brandon Victor Dixon (The Color Purple) sits face to face with the big man himself: Berry Gordy, the founder of the legendary R&B record label that made stars of artists like Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, the Temptations, Michael Jackson, and the Jackson Five. And Gordy is not above ribbing his much younger on-stage alter ego. “The first thing I thought about was, ‘I look so much better than this guy. Why would you take this guy to play me?'” Gordy tells Dixon in the clip, deadpan. “And then of course, I looked in the mirror.” (Somewhere, there’s a session drummer supplying a rimshot.)

Motown: The Musical, which features a script by Gordy himself and a score culled from the Detroit-based label’s extensive catalog of hits, begins previews March 11 before an official opening on April 14. READ FULL STORY

Broadway star Brandon Victor Dixon talks portraying legendary Motown creator Berry Gordy -- EXCLUSIVE PHOTO

Berry Gordy…boxing champion?

Not many people know that prior to founding Motown, Gordy was a featherweight boxer. But it’s just that idea that’s behind an EW exclusive promo image from the new Broadway show Motown: The Musical, which tells the real-life story of Gordy and feature hits from Diana Ross and The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, and many others. Gordy will be portrayed by Brandon Victor Dixon (The Color Purple), also in the photo (left).

“Boxing is one of those things [Gordy] has a love for. [It also represents] his drive and success; he’s a fighter ready to take on the world,” Dixon told EW.

Getting to bring that iconic music to life once again is a dream come true for Dixon. “Michael Jackson has always been my greatest inspiration,” Dixon said. “The Jackson 5 were really my conduit to Motown. Berry Gordy has always been this hazy legendary figure that I’ve known about in my childhood that was responsible for everything that I found important in the world.”

Aretha Franklin, Smokey Robinson, and more attend 'Motown: The Musical' launch -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Motown: The Musical is coming to Broadway this spring and we’ve got an exclusive video from the launch! The musical tells the story of Motown founder Berry Gordy (played by The Color Purple‘s Brandon Victor Dixon) from his early days as a songwriter in Detroit to the establishment of his legendary record label. The production features songs from Motown’s extensive catalog, which includes artists such as Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, the Temptations, Michael Jackson, and the Jackson Five.

Last Thursday, the cast assembled at the Nederlander Theatre (home to current hit Newsies) to preview numbers from the show. The audience included a number of real-life Motown icons including Gordy (a producer of the show) and Robinson, as well as soul legend Aretha Franklin, who offered praise for what she saw. “Berry does not attach his name to anything that’s not going to be a winner and first class,” she said.

Check out an inside look at the musical, which begins previews at Broadway’s Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on March 11 before an official opening on April 14. READ FULL STORY

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