Thursday, May 20, 2010
Local stars mean box-office bonanza?
As part of its Tony coverage, the New York Times included a sidebar on how much big-name stars mean to Broadway's weekly grosses.
Basically, if you have Denzel Washington/Hugh Jackson/Catherine Zeta-Jones/ScarJo in your production and the other guy doesn't, then you will rake in two to four times as much per week.
Which leads to a local application. Kathie Doyle-Lipe has her local following, and for good reason. Some people will go see anything directed by Troy Nickerson — again, for good reason. Perhaps Patrick Treadway, Reed McColm, Ellen Travolta, Jack Bannon, Patrick McHenry-Kroetch and others have similar fan bases? (I don't know, and apologies to anyone I've failed to mention here. You fill in the names.)
Now, Bobo doesn't have access to box-office records hereabouts, and he tends to go to shows on opening night (which has its own buzz, but cannot yet have acquired the shine and increased ticket sales that result from good word-of-mouth). In other words, what does he know?
But here is your chance to praise your fellow artists. Who around here has the marquee name to "open" a show? What examples can you recall of a) poor scripts that sold well because so-in-so was the star, or b) good productions that grossed even better because of a recognizable lead actor?
[ photo: Patrick McHenry-Kroetch as Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha, Spokane Civic Theatre, May-June 2008 ]