After a whirlwind on Broadway, which involved receiving a closing notice, seeing a ticket resurgence and then reappearing at another theater two years later, beetroot juice is moving on to its other world.
The musical, based on the 1988 Warner Bros. film, will conclude at the Marriott Marquis Theater on Broadway on January 8 after a nine-month run and then resume its recently launched national tour. , as well as upcoming international works at Brazil and Japan. It is one of many shows currently competing with another Broadway environment, and one that is experimenting with altered waters for motion picture musicals.
The show had a unique Broadway trajectory: The musical began pre-screening at Broadway’s Winter Garden Theater in March 2019 and initially had several weeks of low-grossing hits, until the creative performance of the show. The Tony Awards served as a catalyst, along with growing fan support and a strong TikTok presence, and helped the musical break box office records. Still, beetroot juice was later told that it needed to leave the theater by June 2020 to make room for upcoming tenants, music man.
That activity was curtailed due to the closure of all Broadway theaters in March 2020, at which time the musical was still grossing an $8 million advance. At the time, the producers — headed by Mark Kaufman, executive vice president of Warner Bros. Theater Ventures, and Kevin McCormick of Langley Park Productions — searched for the next home for Broadway. The Marquis Theater was made available in late 2021 (and, importantly, in line with the musical’s large, technical cast) and the show resumed at the new theater in April 2022.
This time around, its overall sales appeared to be fairly stable, but performances subsequently dropped over the summer, which raised concerns about how the musical would last through the winter. According to Kaufman, among other worries about travel and high operating costs. This led the producers to announce an upcoming closure in October, to give the musical some runway and also be able to play high-grossing holiday weeks.
The show’s ending is not without its own drama. Alex Brightman, who plays the title character, suffered a concussion after hitting a piece of steel during the show’s Christmas Eve performance. He returned to the show on Friday for the final three performances of the evening.
According to Kaufman, who oversees Warner Bros. titles. as well as an now-expanding library that includes titles from HBO, DC, etc. And the musical plans to continue to reach new audiences, through its national tour and licensed productions. amateur and stock, at the same time pursuing the goal of capital recovery.
Kaufman spoke to hollywood reporter before a closing performance on the show’s journey, the fate of filming, and his views on the future of cinematic musicals.
How do you feel at the end of a Broadway show?
Very proud. It’s been a mixed bag, because obviously nobody wants anything to end, but I feel like this has been an incredible journey. The show itself defied a lot of the odds. Those are the opened doors. It means a lot to a lot of different people. You know, there’s a lot of emotion, but we’ve also brought a new audience to Broadway. People who had never seen a Broadway show came to see beetroot juice.
Sixty-nine percent of our buyers from Telecharge are between the ages of 19 and 54, the benchmark is typically 49 percent. And then 49 percent of these are [first-time buyers] for Telecharge, where the benchmark is typically 30 percent per program.
What makes you confident that you can return to Broadway?
Fans. Our cast album has streamed over 1.6 billion streams and individual tracks 2.9 billion times. Very few successful actor albums. you have yours Hamiltonyou have yours Dear Evan Hansens. We hit 100 million plays in 20 weeks. Just for comparison, Hamilton get there in 18 weeks and Evan Hansen in 37 weeks. So these are the things that show us that people really enjoy our show and have an audience. Dutch [the name of the musical’s fans] have become our ambassadors, and they’re urging us to come back. It feels like it has no end. It doesn’t feel like it ended right.
When it reopens in April 2022, you’ve got a couple of good weeks and then some rougher weeks in the summer months. What do you think contributed to that?
I think it’s a harsher environment. I think at the height of summer, when our total revenue is higher, we depend on tourists. We relied on kids who didn’t go to school. We were a bit surprised by the drop, because it came a bit early for us. there is always one [summer] The Broadway dip everyone was looking forward to, but our event was a week or two too early, which gave us pause and we had to look ahead. There was an unusual drop in Broadway in January and February, and we were concerned that we would end up in a place where we would hang out with whimpers, and I needed to bear the brunt of it. financially responsible to both the studio and to our investors.
Is that the deciding factor in the end, or does higher operating costs matter?
Higher operating costs are a factor. We only had to cancel one show because of COVID. We did a lot of push and pull to keep the show alive. But it’s an expensive program to run and has a COVID cost. And again, we have to think about the whole process of the performance. No one has a crystal ball about what will happen in February. But it’s sad when you watch some of these shows that won’t have the life they’re supposed to be, because where in the world we are right now: still recovering from the pandemic.
How does that make you feel about the upcoming environment for new musicals and film-based musicals, in particular, since Almost famous Will it also be closed this Sunday?
It’s a shame there isn’t more audience. The audience will probably go see it beetroot juice maybe I’ll go see it too Almost famousand that audience is what we care about. But I think, in the future, people will come to Broadway for something they feel they believe in, like a movie title. I think people will still go to the theater, if that’s the right title.
What makes it titled “correct”?
So funny. Musical movies are tough, because on the one hand, if it’s too big of a title, then you’re fighting the movie. Well then, let’s find a hit movie, such as Hairspray or one Boots or one Waitress. But then, is it big enough to attract people? So that’s a good line you have to walk here. But in the end, I feel like these titles give people a little bit of comfort that if they’re going to step in – and brave the subway and brave the train; wear a mask, don’t wear a mask — and be around people and feel confident in the movie theater, that a movie title gives them a little more comfort about the food and that they’ll be worth the money. money spent. It’s worth coming to see and be brave with all of this. And I think a lot of people are feeling more comfortable.
Before the theater closed, you planned to film the musical. Is there anything coming of that?
We planned to do it in April . And a lot happened. During the pandemic, many videos of this type have been released, some with success, some without success. I think it’s a very expensive business venture and I think at this point we shouldn’t focus on it.
Can you talk about any other projects you’re working on?
We’ve pivoted a bit, during the pandemic, to focus on bigger titles, because of exactly what I just told you earlier. I really think there’s a dynamic comfort food to some of these titles, and I’m excited about a few of them. It’s not just musicals, but there are plays in it too. So it’s a nice combo.
Interview edited for clarity.