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28
Dec

2005 Is Broadway's Highest Grossing Calendar Year Ever, and Highest in Paid Attendance in Two Decades

(December 27, 2005, New York City) The League of American Theatres and Producers, Inc. has reported that Broadway has grossed a record-breaking $825 million in New York for the 2005 calendar year – the highest grossing calendar year in history for Broadway. This figure is up 10.2 % from the 2004 total of $749 million.

Paid attendance for Broadway in 2005 reached 11.98 million , the highest calendar year paid attendance in the past two decades -- a 5.7 % increase from 11.33 million in 2004

Theatre seats were 80.4% filled – the highest level since 1997. Thirty-nine shows opened in the 2004 season.

Playing weeks, the best indicator of overall Broadway activity, numbered 1,517, the highest in the past decade.

Calendar Year
Gross
Paid Attendance
Playing

Weeks
# Shows Opening

2005
$825 million
11.98 million
1,517
39

2004
$749 million
11.33 million
1,455
34


"This incredible calendar year for Broadway is a testament to an extraordinary, diverse array of offerings, as well as the return of domestic and international tourism to Broadway, now back to pre-September 11 levels," commented Jed Bernstein, President, The League of American Theatres and Producers, Inc. "These record-breaking numbers for Broadway's 2005 calendar year demonstrate how live entertainment and Broadway are very much at the top of the cultural menu."

Additional factors for this year's success include:

The Year of The Play

Plays like Doubt, The Pillowman, Twelve Angry Men, Glengarry Glen Ross and Democracy demonstrated that there is a tremendous appetite for excellent plays.

This year also celebrated the classic American play like no other year in recent history, with representation by legendary American playwrights Edward Albee ( Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Seascape ), Tennessee Williams ( A Streetcar Named Desire and The Glass Menagerie ), Neil Simon ( The Odd Couple ), Eugene O'Neill ( A Touch of the Poet) and August Wilson (Gem of the Ocean).

In 2005, plays brought in $136,245,789 and 2.11 million in paid attendance, a 57.2% increase over last year's $86,656,934 gross, and 33.2% increase over last year's 1.58 million in paid attendance.

For 2005, there were 439 playing weeks, compared to 372 in 2004 – an 18% increase. Twenty-three new plays opened in the 2005 calendar year, compared to 2004's twenty-two plays.

Staying Power of Musicals

There was something for everyone this year in the musical category, with such diverse offerings as The Light in the Piazza , Monty Python's Spamalot, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, recently joined by Lloyd Webber's The Woman in White, The Color Purple , Sondheim's Sweeney Todd, and Jersey Boys.

It was such a powerhouse year for new musicals that most of the 2005 Tony-nominated musicals continue to play to packed houses, joining longer running hits.

Celebrities on Broadway

An impressive list of celebrities took a turn on Broadway this year, demonstrating all-around excellence in performance categories. Among the highlights: Alan Alda ( Glengarry Glen Ross ), Christina Applegate ( Sweet Charity ), Hank Azaria ( Monty Python's Spamalot ), Matthew Broderick ( The Odd Couple ), Gabriel Byrne ( A Touch of the Poet ), Jill Clayburgh ( Naked Girl on the Appian Way ), Billy Crudup ( The Pillowman ), Billy Crystal ( 700 Sundays ), Tim Curry ( Monty Python's Spamalot ), Harvey Fierstein ( Fiddler on the Roof ), Jeff Goldblum ( The Pillowman ), Nathan Lane ( The Odd Couple ), Jessica Lange ( The Glass Menagerie ), John Lithgow ( Dirty Rotten Scoundrels ), Rosie O'Donnell ( Fiddler on the Roof ), David Hyde Pierce ( Monty Python's Spamalot ), Nathasha Richardson ( A Streetcar Named Desire ), John C. Reilly ( A Streetcar Named Desire ), Liev Schreiber ( Glengarry Glen Ross ), Brooke Shields ( Chicago ), Christian Slater ( The Glass Menagerie ), Kathleen Turner ( Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? ), Richard Thomas ( A Naked Girl on the Appian Way ), and Denzel Washington ( Julius Caesar ).

The League of American Theatres and Producers, Inc., founded in 1930 and operating under the trademark “Live Broadway,” is the national trade association for the Broadway industry. The League's 500-plus members include theatre owners and operators, producers, presenters, and general managers in over 140 North American cities, as well as suppliers of goods and services to the theatre industry.

 

HIGHLIGHTS OF 2005 BROADWAY SEASON
The Staying Power of the Tony Award Winners

Many of the 2005 Tony Award nominated and winning shows continue to play to packed houses. Four new, original musicals were nominated for the 2005 Best Musical Tony Award: The Light in the Piazza , Monty Python's Spamalot, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Nearly seven months later, all four are still thriving on Broadway, all finding their audiences.

Past Tony winners and nominees for best musical and revivals, Avenue Q, Hairspray, The Producers, Rent, The Lion King and Chicago, have continued box office success. The Phantom of the Opera is set to break the record for the longest running musical on January 9, 2006. On its 7,486 performance, the show will break the previous record held by Andrew Lloyd Webber's other longest-running hit musical, Cats .

The Year of Record Breaking Firsts

• Monty Python's Spamalot became the highest grossing musical to play the Shubert Theatre on Broadway, formerly home to the record-breaking A Chorus Line and Crazy for You . After Thanksgiving week, the musical set a new weekly house record grossing $1,142,071.

• Megastar Oprah Winfrey became a producer of The Color Purple , bringing her star power and marketing muscle to Broadway. With an advance approaching 16M at the end of year – the show is still routinely wrapping over $200,000 a day.

• Hollywood turned to Broadway for inspiration with major motion picture adaptations of the long-running hits, The Producers and Rent, opening during the holiday season. A movie version of Hairspray is also in the works.

Broadway Star Power (partial list)

An impressive list of celebrities took a turn on Broadway this year, including: Alan Alda ( Glengarry Glen Ross ), Christina Applegate ( Sweet Charity), Hank Azaria ( Monty Python's Spamalot ), Matthew Broderick ( The Odd Couple ), Gabriel Byrne ( A Touch of the Poet ), Jill Clayburgh (Naked Girl on the Appian Way), Billy Crystal ( 700 Sundays ), Tim Curry ( Monty Python's Spamalot ), Harvey Fierstein (Fiddler on The Roof ), Nathan Lane ( The Odd Couple ), Jessica Lange (The Glass Menagerie ), John Lithgow ( Dirty Rotten Scoundrels ), Rosie O'Donnell (Fiddler On The Roof ), David Hyde Pierce (Monty Python's Spamalot ), Nathasha Richardson (A Streetcar Named Desire ), John C. Reilly ( A Streetcar Named Desire ), Brooke Shields (Chicago ), Christian Slater ( The Glass Menagerie ), Kathleen Turner ( Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? ), and Denzel Washington ( Julius Caesar )

(an expanded list is at end of this document)

The Year of the New Play

This year, there was no doubt that there is an audience for plays, with ticket sales and attendance for non-musical plays having significantly increased over last year:

• The Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning play Doubt by John Patrick Shanley was the most honored play of 2005, recouping its initial investment in just 15 weeks and breaking the Walter Kerr box office record an astonishing seven weeks;

• Martin McDonagh's chilling play, The Pillowman, received critical acclaim;

• Latinologues, under the direction of Cheech Marin , continues to reach new audiences, with its unique blend of humor and pathos;

• From the National Theatre of Great Britain -- Democracy, by Michael Frayn play, and Primo;

• Stephen Temperley's Souvenir starring Tony winner Judy Kaye, as the singer/socialite Florence Foster Jenkins;

• Elaine May's After the Night and the Music;

• Richard Greenberg's A Naked Girl on the Appian Way , starring Jill Clayburgh and Richard Thomas.

Great Revivals and Recreations
• Neil Simon's The Odd Couple, starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, sold out its entire run;

• David Mamet's revival of Glengarry Glen Ross, with an all-star cast including Alan Alda and Liev Schreiber;

• Roundabout Theatre Company's Twelve Angry Men , which played through May 2005, extended seven times making it the most successful Roundabout production at the American Airline Theatre and will be the first touring production produced by the theatre company;

• American playwrights Edward Albee ( Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Seascape ), Tennessee Williams ( A Streetcar Named Desire and The Glass Menagerie ), Neil Simon ( The Odd Couple and Sweet Charity ) and Eugene O'Neill ( A Touch of the Poet) all had revivals on Broadway this year;

• W. Somerset Maugham's The Constant Wife , starring Kate Burton and Lynn Redgrave;

• Ernest Thompson's On Golden Pond , starring James Earl Jones and Leslie Uggams;

• Julius Caesar, starring Denzel Washington;

• A star-studded revival of Robert Harling's Steel Magnolias .

The Year's Best Underdog Story

Christina Applegate's dream of starring on Broadway almost ended when she broke her foot during a rehearsal of Sweet Charity in Chicago last spring. But Christina's determination to make her dream come true proved that the show must go on – with her. She convinced the show's producers to bring the revival back to Broadway and after her foot healed in May, Christina opened the show in New York receiving a Tony nomination for her role of lovable dance-hall hostess Charity Hope Valentine. The show, which has a score by Cy Coleman and Dorothy Fields and a book by Neil Simon, will have played 279 performances at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre by the time it closes on December 31, 2005 after an eight-month run.

The Return of Broadway Legends

Legendary composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim returned to Broadway with a new production of the critically acclaimed Sweeney Todd. This year also marked Andrew Lloyd Webber's first new Broadway musical in over a decade, The Woman in White . The acclaimed production stars the London musical theatre's first lady and preeminent leading man: Maria Friedham in her Broadway debut and Michael Ball in his first Broadway appearance in 15 years . Also returning to Broadway: playwrights Alan Ayckbourn and David Mamet, directors Mike Nichols and Joe Mantello, and legendary performers Patti LuPone and Chita Rivera.

Joining veteran talent was newcomer Joe Brooks, who brought his unique vision to the Broadway musical, In My Life.

The Year of Songbook Musicals

Songbook musicals had Broadway fans dancing in their seats in 2005. The ABBA musical, Mamma Mia!, in its fourth hit year on Broadway and with more productions playing around the world than any other current musical, can currently be seen in 11 productions in 6 languages around the world. The Billy Joel/Twyla Tharp musical, Movin' Out, wrapped up a successful six-year run on Broadway. Joining the success of these two hits, this year producers paid tribute to the contributions of Elvis Presley in All Shook Up , The Beach Boys with Good Vibrations, and commemorated the 25th anniversary of John Lennon's death with Lennon .

Featuring the music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Jersey Boys sold more than $1 million in single tickets in 3 days – from opening night on November 6 to November 9, 2005 – establishing the show as a major hit of the fall season.

The Year of One-Person Shows, and Star Vehicles

A noticeable trend this year was the absence of large casts. One-person shows included Whoopi, Jackie Mason: Freshly Squeezed, Mario Cantone in Laugh Whore, and Mark Twain Tonight ! with Hal Holbrook.

In its opening week, ending December 11, 2004, Billy Crystal's 700 Sundays broke the house record for highest weekly gross at the Broadhurst Theatre and has continued to top its own record every week since then, playing only seven performances per week. The week ending January 16, 2005 marked the highest grossing week, not only for the Broadhurst Theatre, for any non-musical production in Broadway history, taking in $851,290 at the box office.

Other star vehicles included Dame Edna: Back with a Vengeance , and The Blonde in the Thunderbird , with Suzanne Somers. This January, Bridge & Tunnel , written and performed by Sarah Jones, comes to Broadway for a limited engagement. Ms. Jones presents numerous characters, young and old, and multi-cultural in a poignant, poetic, and comic look at the folks that make up the crazy melting pot of New York City.

The Broadway Legends We Lost in 2005

Broadway mourned the passing of playwright Arthur Miller ( Death of a Salesman, A View From the Bridge, After The Fall, The Crucible ), Tony Award winning actress Anne Bancroft ( The Miracle Worker, The Little Foxes, Two for the Seesaw, Golda ), playwright August Wilson ( Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Fences, The Piano Lesson, Gem of the Ocean ), playwright and actor Ossie Davis ( Purlie, Jamaica ), and actress Barbara Bel Geddes ( Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Mary, Mary ), among others.

Set to arrive on Broadway this Spring are:

Julia Roberts, Paul Rudd and Bradley Cooper in Richard Greenberg's Three Days of Rain
Harry Connick Jr . in The Pajama Game
Alan Cumming, Cyndi Lauper, and Ana Gasteyer in Weill's The Threepenny Opera with costumes by Isaac Mizrahi
Oliver Platt in Shining City
Cynthia Nixon and Tyne Daly in Rabbit Hole
David Schwimmer in Herman Wouk's The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial
The Johnny Cash musical Ring of Fire
Neil Simon's Barefoot In the Park , with Amanda Peet, Patrick Wilson, Jill Clayburgh and Tony Roberts.
A musical adaptation of Ann Rice's vampire classic, Lestat , by Elton John and Bernie Taupin
A new musical based on the popular Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore movie, The Wedding Singer
A new production of Clifford Odet's Awake and Sing, starring Ben Gazzara, Zoe Wanamaker, and Lauren Ambrose (“Six Feet Under”)
Joining other family friendly fare -- including Beauty and The Beast (which celebrated its 11th Anniversary on April 18, 2005), Wicked, and The Lion King (celebrating its ninth sold out year) -- is Disney's much-anticipated Tarzan , written by David Henry Hwang with music and lyrics by Grammy winner Phil Collins.
The National Theatre of Great Britain will be represented by the acclaimed hit, The History Boys, written by Alan Bennett and directed by Nicholas Hynter.
Other plays slated to open include a revival of the 1967 Tony Award Winner for Best Play, Harold Pinter's The Homecoming , and Lisa Kron's original new play Well. Ventriloquist Jay Johnson brings his one-man show Jay Johnson: The Two And Only! to Broadway in March .

2005 CALENDAR YEAR PRODUCTIONS ON BROADWAY

CURRENTLY ON BROADWAY…

Avenue Q [Original, Musical, Comedy, Puppets]
Latinologues [Original, Play, Monologue]

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels [Original, Musical, Comedy]
The Light in the Piazza [Original, Musical]

Doubt [Original, Play, Drama]
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee [Original, Musical, Comedy]

Fiddler on the Roof [Revival, Musical, Comedy, Drama]
Spamalot [Original, Musical, Comedy]

Wicked [Original, Musical]
The Color Purple [Original, Musical, Drama]

A Touch of the Poet [Revival, Play, Drama]
The Woman in White [Original, Musical, Drama]

Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life [Original, Musical]
Seascape [Revival, Play, Drama]

Sweeney Todd [Revival, Musical, Thriller]
The Odd Couple [Revival, Play, Comedy]

Jersey Boys [Original, Musical]
Souvenir [Original, Play, Play with music]


with LONG RUNNING HITS…

Hairspray [Original, Musical, Comedy]
Chicago [Revival, Musical, Comedy]

The Phantom of the Opera [Original, Musical, Drama]
The Lion King [Original, Musical, Comedy, Drama, Puppets]

Beauty and the Beast [Original, Musical, Comedy]
The Producers [Original, Musical, Comedy]

Rent [Original, Musical, Drama]
Mamma Mia! [Original, Musical, Comedy]


ALL SHOWS THAT OPENED in 2005…

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels [Original, Musical, Comedy]
On Golden Pond [Original, Play, Comedy] – Closed June 26, 2005

Spamalot [Original, Musical, Comedy]
Julius Caesar [Revival, Play, Tragedy] – Closed Jun 12, 2005

Doubt [Original, Play, Drama]
The Constant Wife [Revival, Play, Comedy] – Closed Jun 16, 2005

The Light in the Piazza [Original, Musical]
A Streetcar Named Desire [Revival, Play, Drama] – Closed July 3, 2005

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang [Original, Musical, Comedy] – Closing December 31, 2005
Latinologues [Original, Play, Monologue] – Closing December 31, 2005

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee [Original, Musical, Comedy]
A Naked Girl on the Appian Way [Original, Play] – Closed December 4, 2005

Sweet Charity [Revival, Musical, Comedy] – Closing December 31, 2005
Brooklyn Boy [Original, Play, Drama] – Closed March 27, 2005

All Shook Up [Original, Musical] – Closed September 25, 2005
In My Life [Original, Musical] – Closed December 11, 2005

The Pillowman [Original, Play, Drama] – Closed September 18, 2005
Good Vibrations [Original, Musical] – Closed April 24, 2005

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? [Revival, Play, Drama] – Closed September 4, 2005
Absurd Person Singular [Revival, Play, Comedy] – Closed December 4, 2005

Jackie Mason: Freshly Squeezed [Original, Play, Solo] – Closed September 4, 2005
The Odd Couple [Revival, Play, Comedy]

Little Women [Original, Musical] – Closed May 22, 2005
Lennon [Original, Musical] – Closed September 24, 2005

Glengarry Glen Ross [Revival, Play, Drama] – Closed August 28, 2005
Sweeney Todd [Revival, Musical, Thriller]

Steel Magnolias [Original, Play, Drama] – Closed July 31, 2005
Jersey Boys [Original, Musical]

The Glass Menagerie [Revival, Play, Drama] – Closed July 3, 2005
After the Night and the Music [Original, Play, Comedy] – Closed July 3, 2005

Souvenir [Original, Play, Play with music]
The Blonde in the Thunderbird [Original, Play, Play with music] – Closed July 24, 2005

Primo [Original, Play, Solo] – Closed August 14, 2005

The Woman in White [Original, Musical, Drama]
A Touch of the Poet [Revival, Play, Drama]

Seascape [Revival, Play, Drama]
Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life [Original, Musical]

Mark Twain Tonight! [Original, Play, Solo] – Closed June 26, 2005

The Color Purple [Original, Musical, Drama]


Celebrities Appearing on Broadway in 2005:

Alan Alda ( Glengarry Glen Ross ),

Christina Applegate ( Sweet Charity )

Adam Arkin ( Brooklyn Boy ),

Hank Azaria (Monty Python's Spamalot)

Matthew Broderick ( The Odd Couple )

Delta Burke ( Steel Magnolias )

Gabriel Byrne ( A Touch of the Poet )

Jill Clayburgh ( ANaked Girl on the Appian Way )

Billy Crudup ( The Pillowman ),

Billy Crystal ( 700 Sundays )

Tim Curry ( Monty Python's Spamalot )

Christine Ebersole ( Steel Magnolias )

Harvey Fierstein ( Fiddler On The Roof )

Brad Garrett ( The Odd Couple )

Robin Givens ( Chicago )

Rebecca Gayheart ( Steel Magnolias )

Joanna Gleason ( Dirty Rotten Scoundrels ),

Jeff Goldblum ( The Pillowman )

Robert Goulet ( La Cage aux Folles )

Hal Holbrook ( Mark Twain Tonight! ),

Cherry Jones ( Doubt )

James Earl Jones ( On Golden Pond )

Judy Kaye ( Souvenir )

Richard Kind ( The Producers )

Nathan Lane ( The Odd Couple )

Jessica Lange ( The Glass Menagerie )

Huey Lewis ( Chicago )

John Lithgow ( Dirty Rotten Scoundrels )

Jackie Mason ( Jackie Mason: Freshly Squeezed )

Marsha Mason ( Steel Magnolias )

James Naughton ( Democracy )

Rosie O'Donnell ( Fiddler On The Roof )

Sarah Paulson ( The Glass Menagerie )

David Hyde Pierce ( Monty Python's Spamalot )

Phylicia Rashad ( Gem of the Ocean )

John C. Reilly ( A Streetcar Named Desire )

Natasha Richardson ( A Streetcar Named Desire)

Chita Rivera ( Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life )

Liev Schreiber ( Glengarry Glen Ross )

Brooke Shields ( Wonderful Town, Chicago )

Christian Slater ( The Glass Menagerie )

Suzanne Somers ( The Blonde in the Thunderbird )

Frances Sternhagen ( Steel Magnolias & Seascape )

Jeffrey Tambor ( Glengarry Glen Ross )

Richard Thomas ( Democracy & The Naked Girl on the Appian Way )

Kathleen Turner ( Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? )

Leslie Uggams ( On Golden Pond ),

Denzel Washington ( Julius Caesar )

Tom Wopat ( Glengarry Glen Ross )

For more information on any of these productions, visit Internet Broadway Database, IBDB.com