- OnStage New York Columnist
Allow me to prefix this article by saying that my intentions are in no way to bash the creative genius of Lin Manuel Miranda and his theatrical masterpiece that is “Hamilton.” At this point, we are all well aware that the musical is changing the face of theatre and has created uproar in the Broadway community. The show has also brought a whole new audience to the Great White Way, which is fantastic! But has the overwhelming press and coverage of “Hamilton” pulled focus from the plethora of other great New York theatre?
Yesterday, Broadway’s “American Psycho” announced that it would shutter on June 5th after playing only 81 performances. Unlike “Tuck Everlasting,” which will be closing May 29, I was able to experience Duncan Sheik’s genius in this stunning production. “American Psycho” is unlike anything ever produced on Broadway before, and its memory will live on for years to come. Years from now people will still ask Benjamin Walker what it’s like to perform an entire show in his underwear while covered in blood.
“But ‘American Psycho’ is no ‘Hamilton,’” I was told by a fellow theatre lover. Well, why not? Both shows push the limits on theatre and brought brand new works to Broadway. Both shows are electrifying, beautiful, and creatively stunning. So why is it that “American Psycho” only grossed 53.7% of its potential earnings last week while “Hamilton” brought in 132.2%?
To put it simply, “Hamilton” is the talk of the town. Anybody who’s anybody knows about the show or has seen it or has a cousin who has seen it. This article is not intended to debate why “Hamilton” is successful, but instead is a call to action for theatergoers to appreciate all the different theatre available in New York before it’s gone for good.
As previously mentioned, I took a look at the Broadway grosses for the week ending on May 22 and let me warn you: bad news is soon on its way. Though “Bright Star” received a good amount of Tony Award nominations, the Steve Martin musical only brought in 54% of its potential earnings, only .3% more than “American Psycho.” I’ve got my ticket to see it, and you better get yours soon too before it’s too late.
“Fiddler on the Roof” earned a Tony Nomination for Best Leading Actor in a Musical and, if predications are correct, Danny Burstein may just beat out Lin Manuel Miranda and LesliOdom Jr. for the trophy. Unfortunately, the show only grossed 52.2% of its possible earnings last week. Struggling along with the beautiful revival are “Eclipsed,” “Finding Neverland,” “Fully Committed,” “Fun Home,” “Jersey Boys,” “Matilda,” “Something Rotten,” “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” “The Father,” and “The King and I.”
On a positive note, there are a handful of musicals doing very well. “Aladdin,” “Beautiful,” “Paramour,” “The Book of Mormon,” “Waitress,” and “Wicked” all brought in a good profit last week and I couldn’t be more thrilled for these amazing shows.
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t adore and love “Hamilton.” But it’s time that we draw some attention to all the other Broadway plays and musicals that are struggling along to tell their story. “American Psycho” won’t be the last closing notice we receive in the upcoming weeks, so get out there and buy a ticket to see a new musical before it’s gone for good.