June 4, 2009
6/4: Bad News for Broadway?
The neon lights may be bright on Broadway, but are those glittering marquees attracting a local crowd? Broadway producers need to convince a majority of New York City residents — 53% — that catching a show is the way to go. That’s the proportion of city dwellers who say they have not seen a Broadway show during the last three years. And, yes, personal finances do come into play. Just 35% of those who earn less than $50,000 annually say they’ve taken in a show during that period while 61% of those making $50,000 or more saw at least one curtain go up recently.
Stubbed by Ticket Prices…”Not Worth the Money,” Say Nearly Half of New Yorkers
New Yorkers are known for their strong opinions, and nearly three-quarters of them are sending a message to Broadway producers — tickets are not affordable for the average person. 72% of residents feel that way compared with 20% who view prices as fitting within the budget of the average person. 81% of those who have been to a Broadway show in the last three years feel the cost of admission is out of line. Not only do New Yorkers think the average audience cannot afford tickets, a plurality believes theatergoers should get more bang for their buck. 47% of residents think the cost of a Broadway show is not a good value. However, half of those who have who have attended a Broadway show recently think theater tickets are worth the expense.
Making a Lasting Impression?
71% of New York City residents say they have a favorite Broadway show. And, New Yorkers are diverse in their theatrical tastes. So, which shows take the top spots? 9% reflect fondly upon “the circle of life,” making Disney’s “The Lion King” their favorite Broadway production. The “memory” of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Cats” has 7% of the city’s population purring. 5% vividly recall “the music of the night” in another Lloyd Webber blockbuster, “The Phantom of the Opera.” 4% “dreamed a dream” while experiencing “Les Miserables,” and “oh what a night” it was for 3% of New Yorkers who call “Jersey Boys” their favorite Broadway show.
In fact, New Yorkers’ top ten shows all include musicals, making it little surprise that 57% of city residents, including 65% of those who have attended a production in the past three years, prefer to see shows with music. Men and women, however, disagree. 65% of women prefer musicals compared with just 49% of men.
Is tried and true the best policy when it comes to Broadway shows? Not according to the 60% of New Yorkers who say they would go see an original production over a revival. Just 17% prefer shows resurrected from the great Broadway beyond.