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'Porgy and Bess' to end Broadway run

The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess is set to close on its 322nd performance.

Producers of the 2012 Tony Award winner for Best Revival of a Musical announced that the show will conclude its limited engagement at the Richard Rodgers Theatre (226 West 46th Street) on Sunday, September 23, 2012. The musical, which previewed in December 2011, with performances officially starting in January 2012, had its run extended twice due to popular demand.

Starring five-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald  and Tony nominee Norm Lewis, the South Carolina-based story follows Porgy (Lewis) a disabled black beggar as he attempts to rescue Bess (McDonald) from an abusive relationship and a reliance on drugs. McDonald won the Tony for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for her portrayal.

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'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

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