'Pippin' Sees Profit on Broadway

Joan Marcus

The Tony-winning musical revival officially recouped its $8.5 million capitalization at the end of a busy Thanksgiving week, during which a number of productions broke house records.

NEW YORK -- Thanksgiving is traditionally one of the busiest periods on the Broadway calendar, but the holiday week was an especially bountiful one for Pippin, with grosses pushing the Tony-winning musical revival into profit.

On Monday, lead producers Barry and Fran Weissler and Howard and Janet Kagan announced that the hit production, which was first seen at American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Mass., had recouped its $8.5 million capitalization costs as of Sunday, Dec. 1.

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The circus-themed take on Stephen Schwartz's and Roger O. Hirson's musical won four Tony Awards -- for best musical revival, director Diane Paulus, featured actress Andrea Martin and lead actress Patina Miller for her gender-flipping interpretation of the Leading Player, a role made famous by Ben Vereen.

The original 1972 production of Pippin, directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse, ran for almost five years. 

The revival opened April 25 this year at the Music Box Theatre to rave reviews and has been playing consistently to capacity or near-capacity houses since then. The show broke the Music Box house record for a single performance on Friday with gross sales of $151,977. Total grosses for the Broadway revival to date are approaching $33 million.

A national tour of Pippin will kick off in September 2014 at the Buell Theatre in Denver, Colo., with productions also planned for London, Australia and Amsterdam in 2015.


Other productions that broke house records over Thanksgiving week include Kinky Boots; Motown: The Musical; Betrayal, with Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz; Twelfth Night/Richard III, the Shakespeare's Globe double starring Mark Rylance; and The Lion King, which this weekend surpassed Les Miserables to become the fourth longest-running Broadway show of all time.

Overall grosses for the 32 productions playing on Broadway last week totaled $31.5 million, setting a new high for Thanksgiving week.