UPDATE with more information on A Doll’s House, Part 2: In an exclusive interview with Deadline, producer Scott Rudin said this afternoon that most of the show’s Tony-nominated cast would be replaced for the extension. “As with any extension, there will be a recasting,” Rudin said. “We will get a few more weeks with this cast.” Laurie Metcalf, who stars as Nora, the central figure in the Lucas Hnath play, has signed on to begin filming eight episodes of the Roseanne update this fall for ABC and returns to Broadway next season in a revival of Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women; Condola Rashad is committed to season 3 of Showtime’s Billions.
EARLIER: With one week to go before the Tony Awards on June 9, producer Scott Rudin today announced that his multi-nominated best play hopeful A Doll’s House, Part 2 has extended its original 16-week limited run at the Shubert Organization’s Golden Theatre through January 7, 2018. The Lucas Hnath play, staged by Sam Gold, stars Laurie Metcalf, Chris Cooper, Jayne Houdyshell and Condola Rashad, all of whom are Tony nominees.
The show takes off where Henrik Ibsen’s 1879 ground-breaker ended, with a married woman setting off on her own, leaving husband and children behind in the wake of a betrayal and scandal. It’s seen a steady increase at the box office and was up $33K last week to $453K, 63 per cent of its gross potential, with an average ticket price of $76.82 and nearly every seat filled. Rudin’s move echoes his gamble last season, when he shipped The Humans first to the Helen Hayes and then to the larger Schoenfeld, a rare but winning bet on a new drama without a bankable name on the marquee.
Those figures suggested a photo-finish with Lincoln Center Theater’s highly decorated Oslo, at the Beaumont, whose $600K gross was down $64K to 55 per cent of its $1 million potential, with an average ticket price of $88.71.
The figures for Week 2 of the season reflected the challenges facing Broadway going into the new season. Total grosses across 34 shows were down 4 per cent from the previous week, to $32.8 million, still $5.7 million ahead of last season, according to the trade group Broadway League. Attendance also fell about 4 per cent from the previous week. Broadway is being carried by the premium prices paid for the top-drawing musicals, while most plays and even some of the also-ran musicals struggle to fill seats.
Thus Hamilton, at the Nederlander Organization’s Richard Rodgers, remained in the top spot at $3 million, 16 per cent above potential with an average ticket price of $284.07. In second place, at the Nederlanders’ Minskoff, was The Lion King, at $2 million, average ticket price: $150.68. In third place, with an average ticket price of $185.17, was Hello, Dolly!, which scored $1.9 million for seven performances at the Shubert, followed by Wicked, $1.86 million at the Nederlanders’ Gershwin, average ticket price, $123.82. Sara Bareilles continued her knockout performance in Waitress, at the Nederlanders’ Brooks Atkinson, taking in $1.36 million, another jump from the week before, to 33 per cent above potential ay an average ticket price of $160.54.
Tony contenders Dear Evan Hansen and Come From Away, at the Shuberts’ Music Box and Schoenfeld, respectively, continued to do SRO business, with Dear Evan Hansen at 6.5 per cent above potential and Come From Away at 90 per cent of potential. Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, at the Shuberts’ Imperial grossed $1.17 million, off $68K but with full houses paying on average $130.36.
At the other end, newcomer Bandstand, at the Shuberts’ Jacobs, grossed $500K, half its potential and down $90K. Tony contender Groundhog Day, at Jujamcyn Theatres’ August Wilson, slipped $114.5K to $859.5K, 65 per cent of potential.