Million Dollar Holla: The Rascals: Once Upon a Dream Rocking Broadway Box Office
Barry Manilow, Motown: The Musical, and Rain – A Tribute to the Beatles also signal retro tunes are big Broadway business.
Do you want to make a truckload of money ("boffola box office" for you Variety readers) on Broadway? Well, you could do worse than leveraging the nostalgia of successful baby boomers with disposable income through pricey throwback concert events. Retro music shows are the rage, especially if the recent box office numbers for The Rascals: Once Upon a Dream are any indication.
The Rascals: Once Upon a Dream features original band members Felix Cavaliere, Eddie Brigati, Dino Danelli, and Gene Cornish singing their hit songs like, "Good Lovin'," "Groovin'," and "How Can I Be Sure," live on stage. Archival footage will be shown on LED screens to recreate the history of the band onstage. It basically aims to be like 2010's Rain – A Tribute to the Beatles (another successful nostalgia show), but with the actual Beatles onstage. Except it will not be the actual Beatles, but the Rascals, formerly known as "The Young Rascals" back when they starred in this psychedelic Ed Sullivan dream ballet (which will hopefully offer some indication of what the actual show will be like):
The production, which bills itself as "a hybrid of a rock ‘n' roll concert and a Broadway show," has sold over $1 million in tickets in advance of their April 15th opening at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. That's $1 million after just three weeks of tickets being on sale, for a gig at a stately, midsized theater.
"This incredible response is a true testament to the power of The Rascals and their music," said producer Steven Van Zandt in a statement. Of course, those loveable Rascals aren't the only act with super fans.
Let's not forget the Fanilows, the fiercely loyal Barry Manilow devotees who helped pushed the total gross of the singer-songwriter's 27-show Broadway run to over $4.2 million. "Boffola," defined.
If the trend of retro music shows on stage marches on--the arrival of Motown: The Musical, which grossed over $1 million in its first week of previews, suggests that it will--we would like to humbly suggest that the next one be a Bonnie Tyler/Jim Steinman extravaganza. Steinman's 2002 flop Dance of the Vampires was clearly ahead of its time and Tyler is primed for a comeback after she wins the Eurovision for team GB this year. Even if Tyler doesn't technically "win" the annual European song contest, she's still a winner—it's pretty hard to argue that this was ever meant to be anything but a Broadway showstopper.
We'd also settle for the returns of Iggy Pop, The Sugar Hill Gang, and/or Fleetwood Mac—‘cause you know that "Silver Spring" is still overflowing with Stevie Nicks/Lindsey Buckingham drama.
For more information and tickets to The Rascals: Once Upon a Dream, click here.