Sondheim's Broadway career
Posted by: ablankpage 04:05 pm EDT 04/09/21

I've always been under the (I guess incorrect?) impression that Sondheim has had a critically lauded and commercially dismal career on Broadway. But looking at the original runs of his shows (I'm only considering the ones where he was composer and lyricist), many of them fared very well!

- A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum ran for 964 performances (his longest run to date).
- Anyone Can Whistle definitely flopped at 9 performances.
- Company had 705 performances.
- Follies had 522 performances.
- A Little Night Music had 601 performances.
- Pacific Overtures presumably flopped at 193 performances.
- Side by Side by Sondheim ran almost a year with 384 performances.
- Sweeney Todd had 557 performances.
- We all know Merrily We Roll Along flopped with 44 previews (!) and 16 performances.
- Sunday in the Park with George had 604 performances.
- Into the Woods comes in second place with 765 performances.
- And Passion presumably flopped at 280 performances.

Considering the economics of Broadway at the time, I would guess the majority of those were commercial successes, no? So a) have I been under the wrong impression this whole time?, or b) is it because only one revival (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum again!) has been a real smash and the rest have been flops? (The Catherine/Bernadette A Little Night Music and the Jake Sunday in the Park with George both *narrowly* recouped in their final week.)

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