re: Sondheim's Broadway career
Last Edit: Chazwaza 01:33 am EDT 04/10/21
Posted by: Chazwaza 01:27 am EDT 04/10/21
In reply to: Sondheim's Broadway career - ablankpage 04:05 pm EDT 04/09/21

It's not just you, it seems to be the common default to not count previews.

I gotta say I just don't understand and I disagree.

A preview is a performance on broadway, in front of a paying audience who usually paid close to or full price (and it's likely the only time most of those people will see that production - a preview ticket doesn't come with a "come back once we open and see how far we've come!" free ticket), and the producers make money on it just the same as after opening. Opening means after the reviews, but for a long time now shows have been "frozen" at least a week before opening... so if they only do a few weeks (or less) of previews, often the preview is almost the same as post-opening.

A performance for a paying audience is just that, and should count as that. To most ticket buyers, i believe, if the show is running - it is open. If they can buy a ticket, it is a valid performance they paid for, and that counts. They don't advertise as "come watch us perform an unfinished show, be a test audience for a new broadway show!" they advertise as "performances start (month) (day)".

So I can't resist but add them, even though for most shows it makes only a tiny difference in run length... but for some, bigger.
Forum - add 8
ACW - add 12 (21 looks somewhat better than 12)
Company - add 7
Follies - add 12
ALNM - add 12
Pacific Overtures - add 13 (making the run 204, which definitely looks better than 193!)
Side By Side - add 6
Sweeney Todd - add 19... a notable amount

Sunday in the Park - add 35!! (that is a LOT ... bring it to surely those count for the 25-30,000+ people who saw the show in those first 35 performances?)

ITW - add 43!! (1 shy of Merrily... why not count it? Bringing the run to 808 which definitely looks better)

Passion - add 52!!!!! (Brings the run to 332, which looks better than 280, because it is. And 30-50k ticket buyers surely assume what they saw was a performance of the broadway show Passion)

And for what it's worth, also on Broadway:
The Frogs: 92 performances + 34 previews = 126
Putting It Together: 101 + 22 = 123

Also, regarding the Jake G. Sunday in the Park revival... let the record show, it didn't "narrowly recoup in the final week", it was planned exactly that way, the run long enough to recoup (which is VERY short for recouping a musical, which means the mix of Jake in a musical and it being this musical was a winner), because he couldn't do a longer run with his schedule. It could have run much longer had Jake been available, or perhaps had the producers thought it was worth the risk/investment to try to replace him.

Revival runs must count for something too... don't they count toward the popularity of a show, and don't the original investor still get a share? I could be wrong, I don't actually know how that works. The fact that most of his shows have been revived on Broadway at least once, some twice, and that's not counting notable London revivals, and notable off-broadway revivals (like Pacific Overtures twice, Merrily twice, Into the Woods twice, Passion) (let alone things like the Sondheim celebration at the Kennedy center, which I know have to do more with respect and prestige than popularity -- but you don't spend millions on a whole special season of 6 musicals, if you don't think a big paying audience will come for them)
Forum 98 revival: 715 + 35
Forum 1972 revival: 156 + 3 (but wasn't this a strictly limited run, or did it close early because of Phil Silvers health? I can't recall)
ALNM 2009 revival: 425 + 20
Company 1995 revival: 68 + 43 (limited run)
Company 2006 revival: 246 + 34
Company 2020 revival: closed for covid, never opened
Sweeney Todd 1989 revival: 188 + 47
Sweeney Todd 2006 revival: 349 + 35
Follies 2001 revival: 117 + 31 (limited run)
Follies 2011 revival: 152 + 38
Sunday 2008 revival: 149 + 32
Sunday 2017 revival: 61 + 11 (but a sold out run, pre-scheduled as must close limited run)
Into the Woods 2002 revival: 279 + 18
Pacific Overtures 2004 revival: 69 + 24 (limited run)
Assassins 2004 broadway "revival": 101 + 26 (limited run, closed for several reasons, lack of packed houses not being one)

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