All My Sons announced that it has recouped its capitalization today after 11 weeks of performances. The Seagull also announced that it has recouped and Speed the Plow looks like it will also recoup during its limited engagement. So what do these production s have in common that we can learn from. #1 is that they are all excellent productions which have garnered both critical praise and strong word of mouth. 2nd, they have well-known writers who have crafted superior plays. 3rd, and some might argue most important, they star well-known actors who bring broad awareness to the productions by their broad media appeal.
Good theater will always bring in audience. Great theater will allow the shows to run for a long time. Sometimes it's the show that is the star and sometimes it is the star that is the show. There are people out there who lament the fact that Hollywood stars come to Broadway and take roles from stage actors. That the shows suffer from the lack of stage experience these actors bring to the plays. In some cases that may be true, and those plays often do not last very long. But when it works, everyone benefits. With these three productions doing so well, it looks like there will be more limited engagements with stars attached to come. In the coming months we'll have 33 Variations with Jane Fonda, Blithe Spirit with Angela Landsbury and Ruppert Everett and Impressionism with Jeremy Irons and Joan Allen all open on Broadway. Should be a fun and interesting winter for PLays.