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NEW YORK — Who said the Tony Award for best musical was the only one that counts at the box office?
After posting steady gains both in the run-up to the June 9 Broadway honors ceremony, and even more significantly, in the weeks since it took home the statue for best play, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike has become one of the elite handful of plays from the just-concluded season to recoup.
Lead producers Joey Parnes and Larry Hirschhorn announced Monday that the Christopher Durang comedy has recovered its entire $2.75 million investment after 17 weeks. That leaves almost two full months of performances in the extended run to generate profits.
A bittersweet reflection on Chekhovian themes seen through a contemporary lens, the play stars Sigourney Weaver, David Hyde Pierce, Kristine Nielsen, Billy Magnussen, Shalita Grant and Liesel Allen-Yeager. After playing to sell-out houses in an off-Broadway Lincoln Center Theater run last fall, the production transferred intact to Broadway, beginning previews on March 5 at the Golden Theater for an official March 14 opening.
Running in one of Broadway’s smaller houses, the play has grossed $8.2 million to date.
Due to a prior film commitment, Weaver will depart the cast on July 28, with Tony winner Julie White (The Little Dog Laughed) stepping in to play globetrotting movie star Masha through the scheduled closing date of Aug. 25.
Excluding productions from non-profit companies, only a small number of commercially produced plays succeed on Broadway each season.
Other productions that recouped during the past season include Glengarry Glen Ross with Al Pacino; The Heiress with Jessica Chastain; Lucky Guy with Tom Hanks; and I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers, starring Bette Midler.
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