NEW YORK — For Broadway shows, a
Just ask the producers of "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike."
A day after winning the Tony for best play over the
The extension provided fresh evidence that a Tony-season gamble had paid off. In March, producers moved "Vanya," which stars David Hyde Pierce and Sigourney Weaver, from the smaller off-Broadway confines of
"Vanya" is one of several productions that will benefit from honors bestowed during Sunday night's CBS telecast from New York's
The dark British import "Matilda, the Musical," which took four awards including best book, got a much-needed boost from its attention Sunday. In addition to its prizes the production was showcased in a well-received medley featuring many of the show's stars, and also reaped attention from repeated reference to the four young actresses who switch off playing its grade-school protagonist. A spokeswoman said ticket sales were up Monday but did not provide figures.
Meanwhile, the elaborate revival of "Pippin" enjoyed several moments in the Tony spotlight Sunday, with wins for director Diane Paulus and stars Patina Miller and Andrea Martin and a stand-alone number late in the telecast that featured the production's trademark acrobatics. The feeling among Broadway insiders in Radio City was that it was receiving chunks of free airtime that would help to sell tickets.
Hopes were further lifted Monday with news that this edition of the Tonys, hosted for the third consecutive year by
Conventional Broadway wisdom has it that the best musical Tony pays the greatest dividends. While the award certainly can increase a show's profile, often the best musical winner is well on its way to blockbusterdom by the time the Tonys roll around. (That was certainly the case for
For this year's winner, "Kinky Boots," a catchy score and an effective viral campaign — not to mention the tireless promotional efforts by the show's creators, Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein — were already moving tickets, with the show selling a Broadway-best $1.4 million last week. Still, the musical trophy and five other wins offer a Tony seal of approval to help with the cross-dressing comedy's ongoing Broadway run — a spokesman cited $1 million in sales after its big Tony night — as well as its road tour, which producer Daryl Roth said will likely begin next year.
On the other hand, a lack of Tony wins can doom a show. Closure announcements are expected in the coming weeks as producers either come to the conclusion that they can't sell enough tickets without a Tony stamp, or simply finally announce a long-planned closure they had refrained from revealing during Tony season.
Among the shows that were shut out of the Tonys and did not enjoy a high-profile Sunday were the Nathan Lane period burlesque show "The Nance" and
"Nance" and "Ann" are each limited runs, "Nance" is set to close Aug. 11 and "Ann" on Oct. 1, but a Tonys shut-out can affect sales just the same.
Conversely, principals in a long-closed show can see a ripple effect from the awards period.
The actor-playwright told The Times that a season of glad-handing had worn him out and he was ready to return to Chicago, where he lives.
"I leave Tuesday. I can't wait," he said, a twinkle in his eye. But he won't stay in the Midwest for long. As "Woolf" gained momentum in the days leading up to the Tonys, Letts was announced as a series regular on the third season of Showtime's