Bloomberg News

Alec Baldwin’s ‘Orphans’ to Close as Sales Slip; ‘Vanya’ Spikes

May 06, 2013

'Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike'

David Hyde Pierce and Sigourney Weaver, in costume as Snow White and Grumnpy, in "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike." The play saw sales increase after it was nominated for 6 Tony awards. Photographer: Carol Rosegg/O&M Co. via Bloomberg

Producers of Broadway’s critically unloved “Orphans” said yesterday that the revival’s run will end May 19, six weeks earlier than the planned June 30 closing.

Although the show received two Tony Award nominations last week (for Best Revival of a Play and for Tom Sturridge’s performance in a supporting role), the star, Alec Baldwin, was passed over.

Ticket sales dipped below the show’s weekly running costs to $398,000, according to figures released by the trade association the Broadway League. That’s down 11 percent from the previous week and off 40 percent since the Lyle Kessler three-character drama began previews in March.

“Orphans” needed to take in about $440,000 a week to pay expenses and royalties, according to a budget obtained from the office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. The show was capitalized at about $3 million.

Baldwin was guaranteed a weekly salary of $50,000 and an undisclosed share of profits, of which there will be none.

Tony nominations were announced on April 30. Sales jumped 10 percent for Christopher Durang’s comedy “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.” Four of its actors, including David Hyde Pierce, were nominated. It grossed $449,000, a new high, with room to grow. It’s playing to two-thirds capacity.

Lucky Bette

“Lucky Guy” with best actor nominee Tom Hanks, sold $1.4 million. Bereft of a single nod, “I’ll Eat You Last,” with Bette Midler, still broke the record at the tiny Booth Theatre -- again. Sales soared 17 percent to $753,000.

With just one nomination, for best musical revival, “Annie” continued its slide, falling to $648,000, its lowest since opening in November. Producers are hoping Jane Lynch provides glee when she takes over as Miss Hannigan next week.

Overall, Broadway box office was little changed from the previous week, taking in $24.6 million. Sales this season, which ends in three weeks, are up 0.4 percent from 2011-12. Attendance is down 5.5 percent, while average ticket prices are up.

Without a best musical nomination (but packed with familiar hits), “Motown” held steady at $1.2 million.

The Cyndi Lauper musical, “Kinky Boots,” with 13 nominations, saw sales increase 3 percent to $1.1 million. Its chief rival for the top Tony, “Matilda,” also sold $1.1 million.

Muse highlights include Jeremy Gerard on theater and Richard Vines on London dining.

To contact the reporter on this story: Philip Boroff in New York at pboroff@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff in New York at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.


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