The Playgoer: Raw Numbers

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Raw Numbers

Time Out is right ("Secret" #7) that Broadway may not be dead as far as quality goes. At least, thanks to some good shows developed in Off B'way nonprofit-land or imported from London.

But take into account these sobering box office stats for some of the Rialto's more serious efforts in the week ending April 1:

"Company" is at 47% capacity (down 9% from the previous week)

"Grey Gardens" at 62% (down 10%)

"Journey's End" at 36% (down 5%)

"Talk Radio"--a known title with a famous star--is barely breaking 50% (down 10%)

Miraculously, "Spring Awakening" is at 79%, and even that's down 8%. Even more miraculously "Prelude to a Kiss"--a 15-year-old Craig Lucas play with no stars except possibly John Mahoney--is managing to pull in 65%. But that must be due to those massive Roundabout subscriptions.

Keep in mind that "capacity" at most of these theatre is around 1,000 seats. Except the Roudabout which is 740, which means that "Prelude" like the others is also playing to about 500 folks a night.

Once again, a healthy, even SRO size Off Broadway. But in the Big House, that would look like Death Row to me. If I were a producer, at least.

See them while you can! There must be discounts...

Oh, and I forgot to mention something. All the above shows got very strong--I dare say "money"--reviews from the New York Times. What does that tell us?

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Too bad the Time Out list had to use so much sexist material -- the item about chorus girls, the comparison of a show late in its run to a prostitute late in her shift. Ugh. Don't bother telling me to have a sense of humor -- I do. But this old-style view of women as on the earth for the purpose of satisfying the gaze and/or sexual urges of men is so off-putting. One man's opinion.

Anonymous said...

Women are not put on this earth to satisfy men's sexual urges, but prostitutes do make a living from just that. I'm not sure how saying so is "sexist."

Anonymous said...

Saying so about prostitutes is not in itself necessarily sexist. But using that image to explain why a show is tired in its second year is, imho. It makes a lot of assumptions about who the potential spectator is (male) and analogizes the spectator to the role of a john. Do you think theater-going is like paying for a sexual encounter with a stranger? I'm no prude -- sex with strangers, money or no, is a-okay with me as long as they are consenting adults. But the play as prostitute and the spectator as john is an inaccurate and distasteful way to characterize the enterprise, imho, and one that suggests the spectator is always male.

Anonymous said...

Why do you assume that someone visiting a female prostitute is necessarily male? This assumption is sexist! And homophobic!

Obviously the analogy is not exact. But it's clearly intended as a joke, and an evocative one at that, and calling it "distasteful" does make you sound a bit prudish. I'm basically with you about the chorus girls (though it could be argued that they are selling sex in their own way, too), but can't get on board for the more tenuous second point.

The Playgoer said...

Sorry, Anonymi, but I'm going to have to step in to ask you take this outside. Outside of this comments-post, at least. The debate is utterly valid, but I think we've strayed WAY off topic from the original post, which wasn't even about the Time Out feature.

I do hope to post more on that Time Out spread, so perhaps we can all continue debating it then. Meanwhile, I encourage you to take up any complaints with Mr David Cote, Time Out's theatre editor himself--perhaps via his blog: http://histriomastix.typepad.com/