Monday, June 25, 2012

Stage Door at 'Evita' at the Marquis Theatre: The Box Office Draw of Ricky Martin on Broadway

Ricky Martin's image and name has been prominent in the advertising such
as on this billboard in Times Square.
The crowds waiting at the Marquis stage door on 45th Street.
(above photos: TheHopefulTraveler)
Never underestimate star power on Broadway. The major chunk of the huge crowd pictured is to catch a glimpse of performer Ricky Martin waiting for the moment when he exits the stage door at the Marquis Theatre. He starring as Che in the revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical 'Evita.'

Despite only one prior Broadway credit as one of the many actors to play Marius in the musical 'Les Miserables,' Martin's cache as an above the title star in a New York production was untested. Martin has a multi-platinum singing career and was a member of boy band Menudo but who knew that he could command crowds like this on Broadway.

Martin's name has been filling seats that the show has topped over a million dollars per week at the box office despite the less than positive reviews for the show. Many are predicting that when Martin takes a vacation from the show next week that box office will reveal his true box office draw. Martin is currently on contract to star in the show until the end of the year.

Ricky Martin greeting fans at the Marquis Theatre stage door
where he is starring as Che in 'Evita'
(photo: Chris Hardie)
'Evita' has broken the weekly-box office record at the Marquis (for an eight performance week) seven times peaking at $1,586,902 during the week ending May 20, 2012 out of a potential box office of $1,666,936. Since opening the show has been among the top five grossing shows on Broadway each week joining the ranks of 'Wicked,' 'The Lion King' and 'The Book of Mormon'. Of course part of the gross must be attributed to the curiosity of seeing 'Evita' revived for the first time since the original New York production that opened in 1979 and continued for nearly four years and made Patti Lupone a Broadway star.

Though star Elena Roger has already preserved her role on on the highlights London Cast Recording, the star and draw of the Broadway production is Martin commanding that a complete 2-CD recording of the show be made which is released this week.

The nightly crowds are bleeding onto 45th street near the Marquis Theatre stage door blocking traffic and the sidewalk on both sides of the street. I had no plans after the show and I usually see what kind of crowd is greeting the stars of a Broadway show. This one has to be one of the largest I have ever seen even attracting spectators who did not see the show this evening as evidenced by pedestrians passing by who were curious what the crowd was for and after finding out it was for Martin decided to become part of the masses.

Alas most of the crowd could only get a glimpse or a snapshot of Martin. After exiting the stage door, he signed a few playbills and darted for his limo. The crowds thinned quite a bit after this even though the actress playing Eva Peron had not yet stepped out of the stage door. See the next post for my review of the tonight's show.

Martin's limo awaits while barricades corrals the crowds.
(photo: TheHopefulTraveler)


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