Jersey Boys‘ continued success selling 1960s tunes on the Great White Way may strike some as a parlor trick. But this week’s grosses, released by the Broadway League, belie that outlook. Exhibit A: Motown: The Musical continues to rake in the crowds despite mixed reviews that mostly took issue with Berry Gordy’s book. At the moment, it’s the biggest new musical hit of the season—but stay tuned to find out if it retains the lead after the Tony Awards hand out their kudos on June 9.
As 60s successes go, the surprise of the week is The Rascals: Once Upon a Dream. A concert engagement of the band best known for its chart-topper “Good Lovin’,” the show played its five shows last week to a healthy, 92% capacity crowd and saw a 20% increase in gross.
In the category of shows most in need of a Tony bounce, the revival of Jekyll & Hyde takes the bitter cake. With its 14% decrease in capacity following last week’s reviews, the show is in serious trouble. Houses that are half-empty usually portend a death knell sooner rather than later (unless a show is bankrolled by one of the large nonprofits that produce on Broadway, which is the case with the underperformer Ann).
On a happier note, Matilda and Kinky Boots have both evolved into solid hits, with both among the week’s top ten grossers. And as the season’s only two shows with original scores that are still open to wow Tony voters, the pair seem to be the top competitors for the Best Musical crown. May the best show featuring a lead performance by a tall man in drag win!