Broadway Bounces Back - Broadway is making "a strong rebound", according to industry body the Broadway League, as it publishes figures that reveal 12.3m people attended shows in the first full year of data since the pandemic. This is 17% down on pre-pandemic levels. The Broadway League also said grosses for the 2022/23 season were $1.6bn and indicated that the figures compare favourably with pre-pandemic levels.
According to its data, the 2022/23 season included 1,474 playing weeks - the overall number of weeks of performance logged by all shows during the season - and 40 new productions.
In a statement explaining the data, the league said tourism was stronger but "not back to pre-pandemic levels", particularly in terms of international tourists for the 2022/23 season. "The season had fewer playing weeks and performances than in the (record-breaking) full seasons that predated the shutdown, which contributed to lower attendance than in those seasons, but the percentage of capacity for the season was strong at more than 88%," it said.
Broadway League president Charlotte St Martin said: “Broadway is making a strong rebound as audiences are returning to New York City to experience extraordinary live theatre. The 2022/23 season numbers indicate an upward trajectory with 12.3 million attendances and nearly $1.6 billion in grosses. Broadway continues to present robust and diverse productions, ranging from beloved classics to ground-breaking debuts, attracting an array of audiences who are keeping the Theatre District bustling with excitement.”
Celine Cancels - Celine Dion has cancelled all her remaining live shows, telling fans she is not strong enough to tour after being diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder. The singer revealed last year she was suffering from Stiff-Person Syndrome (SPS), which was affecting her singing. Dion has now cancelled all the shows she had scheduled for 2023 and 2024.
In a statement posted on Twitter, the 55-year-old told fans: "I'm so sorry to disappoint all of you once again. Even though it breaks my heart, it's best that we cancel everything until I'm really ready to be back on stage." She added: "I'm not giving up... and I can't wait to see you again!" She said the disorder was causing muscle spasms and was "not allowing me to use my vocal cords to sing the way I'm used to". The Courage World Tour began in 2019, and Dion completed 52 shows before the Covid-19 pandemic put the remainder on hold.
Eurovision Sale - If you watched this year's Eurovision Song Contest and spotted some props you liked the look of, now is your chance to buy them. BBC Studios, which produced this year's competition in Liverpool, is auctioning off items used across the week's shows as part of a sustainability drive.
Drums from Sam Ryder's performance and jumpers worn by Daði Freyr's backing singers are among the items listed. Twenty percent of money raised will go to two different charities. The profits will be split between ACC Liverpool Foundation and BBC Media Action, with the remaining 80% coming back to BBC Studios to fund programmes and services. Costumes worn by backing dancers during Kalush Orchestra, Netta and Sonia's performances will also be available, with bids starting at £5.
Farewell - West End theatres dimmed their lights on 25 May in tribute to Tina Turner. Hannah Essex, co-chief executive of the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre, said: "The theatre world pays tribute to the immense talent and impact of Tina Turner. She has inspired countless generations through not only her pioneering music career, but her ability to break down barriers in the face of adversity. She will be greatly missed."
(Jim Evans)
30 May 2023

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