I wonder if the people who are buying tickets to “It’s Only a Play” realize that it’s only a play. It is not a musical and is not the sequel to “The Producers.” But the combination of Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick has sent sales for Terrence McNally’s revival of his comedy into the stratosphere. Last week, according to numbers just released, “It’s Only a Play” nosed ahead of the hit musical “Aladdin with $1.27 million. Amazing. Remember, the “Play” hasn’t even opened yet!
The Lane-Broderick combo finished in fifth place overall, behind The Lion King, Book of Mormon, Wicked, and Kinky Boots. It was ahead of not only “Aladdin” but also “Motown: the Musical.” Let’s not forget the other cast members, all stars: Oscar winner F. Murray Abraham, Tony and Emmy winner (and Oscar nominee) Stockard Channing, Emmy winner Megan Mullally, and Harry Potter’s Rupert Grint in his first Broadway show.
Quite feat for a new show, especially in this difficult year. Finding it harder to get an audience is “This Is Our Youth,” with Michael Cera and Kieran Culkin. They managed to get the gross up this week to $418K over $372K the prior week. But that was because the ticket price went up. The actual audience decreased by a whopping 18%. I haven’t seen this play, so have no idea if it’s good or bad or whatever. Reviews were pretty good, though. Something must be missing in the marketing.
I am looking forward to Sunday’s opening of “You Can’t Take it With You.” The Kaufman-Hart comedy is a classic. James Earl Jones leads a terrific cast. Somehow their attendance went down this week from the prior week also, by 7%. Maybe a big opening and good notices will reverse the trend.