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BROADWAY RETURNS: Hadestown - Resumes 9.2.21 Waitress - Begins Return Engagement 9.2.21 Chicago, The Lion King, Hamilton and Wicked - Resume 9.14.21 Come From Away - Resumes 9.21.21 Moulin Rouge! - Resumes 9.24.21 THE 74TH TONY AWARDS - 9.26.21 Aladdin - Resumes 9.28.21 To Kill a Mockingbird - Resumes 10.5.21 Tina - Resumes 10.8.21 Girl From the North Country - Resumes 10.13.21 Ain't Too Proud - Resumes 10.16.21 Jagged Little Pill - Resumes 10.21.21 The Phantom of the Opera - Resumes 10.22.21 The Book of Mormon - Resumes 11.5.21 Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Resumes 11.12.21 Dear Evan Hansen - Resumes 12.11.21

NEW ON BROADWAY: Pass Over - Previews 8.4.21 Opens 9.12.21 SIX - Previews 9.17.21 Opens 10.7.21 Freestyle Love Supreme - Opens 10.7.21 Chicken & Biscuits - Previews 9.23.21 Opens 10.10.21 The Lehman Trilogy - Previews 9.25.21 Opens 10.12.21 Thoughts of a Colored Man - Previews 10.1.21 Caroline, or Change -Previews 10.8.21 Opens 10.27.21 Trouble in Mind - Previews 10.8.21 Opens 10.27.21 Diana - Previews 11.1.21 Opens 11.17.21 Mrs. Doubtfire - Previews 10.21.21 Opens 12.5.21 Flying Over Sunset - Previews 11.4.21 Opens 12.6.21 Company - Previews 11.15.21 Opens 12.9.21 Skeleton Crew - Previews 12.21.21 Opens 1.12.22 MJ: The Musical - Previews 12.6.21 Opens 2.1.22 The Music Man - Previews 12.20.21 Opens 2.10.22 Paradise Square - Previews 2.22.22 Opens 3.20.22 Birthday Candles - Previews 3.18.22 Opens 4.10.22 The Minutes - TBA Plaza Suite - Previews 2.25.22 Opens 3.28.22 American Buffalo - TBA Take Me Out - TBA 1776 - TBA Sing Street - TBA Our Town - TBA

COMING UP THIS WEEK: Broadway Musical Revival Logos Tournament: Region 2 Elimination - Celebrating Audra McDonald - Broadway in a Box CD Review: Cabaret - Favorite Designs: All Aboard! - Broadway Games!

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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Summer Openings: Blessing or Curse?

I can't remember a summer with so many Broadway openings like there are this year. Two plays and three musicals. Three new musicals! That's almost half of the new musicals of the entire last season.

But with summer openings comes the familiar cry, "Summer shows will have no audience!" Or "Summer shows are always flops!" Neither is necessarily true - low audience rates happen sporadically throughout the season, and a flop can happen any time (American Psycho, Tuck Everlasting, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Bandstand all opened in the coveted "late spring.") So how do summer shows do compared to other calendar seasons? Well, fewer shows open then, so the number is already low.  But are they any more likely to flop? I thought I'd look at long-running shows and see.

Broadway shows that have run over 1,000 performances:

  • all time: 118   
  • opened during the months of June, July and August: 12 
  • the very first Broadway show to reach 1,000 performances opened in August
  • Tony Awards: 46, including 1 Best Play and 6 Best Musicals
  • Pulitzer Prizes: 2
Numbered by current performance number rank:


June 14, 2011
105. Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark – 1,066 Performances



June 10, 1982
81. Torch Song Trilogy – 1,222 Performances – 2 Tonys including Best Play


August 6, 2015
80. Hamilton – 1,237 Performances (as of July 22, 2018) – 11 Tonys including Best Musical – Pulitzer Prize


August 26, 1918
76. Lightnin’ – 1,291 Performances

This comedy from almost 100 years ago, ran for exactly 3 years - including summers, before air conditioning - and was the very first Broadway show to reach 1,000 performances. Pictured above is the playwright and star, Frank Bacon. It was later made into two movies, including one starring Will Rogers!


June 17, 1969
71. Oh! Calcutta! (Original) – 1,314 Performances


August 10, 1987
65. Me and My Girl – 1,420 Performances – 3 Tonys


June 19, 1978
50. The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas – 1,584 Performances – 2 Tonys


August 21, 1983
44. La Cage aux Folles (Original) – 1,761 Performances – 6 Tonys including Best Musical


July 31, 2003
24. Avenue Q – 2,534 Performances – 3 Tonys including Best Musical


August 15, 2002
22. Hairspray – 2,642 Performances – 8 Tonys including Best Musical


August 25, 1980
14. 42nd Street (Original) – 3,486 Performances – 2 Tonys including Best Musical


July 25, 1975
7. A Chorus Line – 6,138 Performances – 9 Tonys including Best Musical – Pulitzer Prize

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