Now that the Tony’s are over, Broadway talk is now already centered about next year’s award season. There is speculation all over town of who will win. Some people are putting the new musical Hamilton into the mix, a show that’s been on the awards radar for quite some time now. It is clear the shows that win Tonys, or any credible award, tend to do very well. There are four main Tony Award categories that draw people to the show, besides the actors of course. They include Best Musical, Best Play, Best Revival of a Musical and Best Revival of a Play. Originally the latter two were combined into one Best Revival category, but were separated into two in the late 1990s.
The main winner that has everyone talking from this year’s Tonys was the hit musical Fun Home, a dark and depressing musical about a girl named Alison, who figures out she is gay while at the same time her father is battling his gay desires as well. According to broadwayworld.com the show has done okay but has slowly moved down the best grossing chart from No. 13 to No. 26. Of course the show has been very well received, and while the show’s gross jumped the week after the Tonys, it is starting to slow down. The show grossed a little over $750k this past week (the week of June 22). Thats nothing, however, compared to other shows like The Book of Mormon, which also won Best Musical in 2011. The Book of Mormon grossed over $1.5 million last week alone. Eventually, though, each Tony-winning Best Show of some kind does lose money over time. Usually by that point they close on Broadway and move the show on a tour, to Off-Broadway (like Avenue Q had done) or to the West End, then come back after around eight years for a revival.
Another example would be A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, which is also still currently running. This comedic musical won the Tony in 2014, and still is doing well, but is grossing less than Fun Home, as of this past week. The gross number of a show, keep in mind, can also be determined based on the size of the theatre it is playing in.
However, musicals aren’t the only shows that do well after the Tonys, but they tend to stay on longer than the plays that win. There are also more musicals currently on Broadway than there are plays. Why? They do better overall than plays do, especially after the Tonys. Yes, there are exceptions of course, like The Curious Incident of a Dog in the Night-Time has been on for over half a year now and it still is doing well, grossing just under a million dollars last week alone. The show was grossing on average about $750k and is now at just under a million in gross per week. While the full impact of the Tony Awards had to do with that jump is up for debate, it is no question the show’s popularity did increase after winning the Award for Best Play this year.
But one must remember sometimes winning Best Musical, or any Best Tony Award, doesn’t always mean the show will be on forever. The people who decide Best Musical aren’t the public, it’s a group of judges. Even being nominated for any one of the four main categories is an honor in itself, but the public ultimately decides how well the show does because they are the ones buying the tickets. Luckily for many of those shows, ticket buying does spike after the biggest awards are handed out, though nothing is guaranteed even for the biggest winners.