Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Mary Poppins Lands Top Five Capacity Spot With Broadway Debut

Mary Poppins Lands Top Five Capacity Spot With Broadway Debut

In what is sure to become one of the Great White Way's hottest shows this season, Disney and Cameron Mackintosh's Mary Poppins enjoyed its first bow at the New Amsterdam Theatre last Saturday. And if the initial performances are any indication, this production will further solidify Disney's place on Broadway.

With just two performances under its, er, umbrella, the musical -- based more on the P.L. Travers stories than the 1964 motion picture of the same name -- attracted a capacity of 96.6%, enough to place it into the top five. Those two performances brought in $307,184 at the box office -- more than the entire weekly take for The Times They Are A-Changin' (which also began previews with seven performances, taking in $305,043), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee ($304,756), Heartbreak House ($215,619), Losing Louie ($154,624) or Jay Johnson: The Two And Only (with an anemic $50,841).

Average ticket prices for Mary Poppins came in at $88.76, enough to put it into fifth place on a second chart for the week. As buzz builds, I suspect that the tuner will only climb to higher heights on each successive chart.

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Related Stories:
Which New Broadway Musical Are You Most Enthusiastic About Seeing? (October 16, 2006)
Which British Hits Will Be Broadway-Bound? (September 20, 2006)
Which Broadway Musical Will Depart Next? (August 21, 2006)
Rejoice! Gavin Lee to Cross Atlantic for Mary Poppins on Broadway (May 8, 2006)
Flashback: Best of 2004-05 (May 26, 2006)
Disney Moves from Continent to Continent (May 22, 2006)

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At 19 October, 2006, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

New York Post's Michael Riedel reports in the Thursday, October 19 issue that Mary Poppins' "Temper, Temper" song is scaring many of the children in the audience, but also notes that producer Cameron Mackintosh has warned that this show is not suitable for children under 7.

Also, because of contractual arrangements with the estate of P.L. Travers -- who never liked how fluffy her stories became when presented on the silver screen -- that dictated that the staging should be closer to the original darker source material.

All I can say is that I hope that the show as I saw it in London isn't tinkered with too much. Maybe for once, parents will heed advance warnings -- ultimately, it's their responsibility, not Mary Poppins!

At 19 October, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I saw the show in London last November I noticed how intense the "Temper Temper" number was. I did not see any of the children around me running for cover. It's a good number and should not be tampered with nor deleted.
When I attended a performance of "The Lion King" eons ago the young girl climbed into her mother's lap everytime the hyenas appeared. When they left she bounced back to her seat.
I noticed the NY Post article did not mention how the children in the audience reacted to "Brimstone and Treacle" sung by Miss Andrews. That woman had me climbing the back of my seat. I found her to be scarier than oversized toys wanting respect.
The show, as I saw it in London, is a joy; it's a bit dark but that is how the stories were written. Let's hope Disney stops tinkering and realizes bittersweet is better than unsweetened.

At 19 October, 2006, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Thanks for your comments, Gene. I always fear that when shows cross oceans that producers feel the need to tinker to assuage audiences' reactions.

Look at how both "Taboo" and "Bombay Dreams" were retooled only to flop.

I'm hopeful that the supposed kid-friendly" changes that have been made to the West End-to-Broadway staging won't cater to the lowest common denominator.


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