Darren Criss becomes Broadway's $4 million manTuesday, January 24, 2012
The brotherhood of man — not to mention a squealing sisterhood of teenage girls — turned out in force for Darren Criss on Broadway. In his third and final week starring in the musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, the Glee star again proved himself a remarkable box office draw. Aside from Daniel Radcliffe’s final week in the show, an anomalous nine-show week that grossed $1.9 million, the revival had the three most lucrative weeks of its 11-month run with Criss in the leading role. For the last three weeks, How to Succeed took in more than $1.3 million per week — just over $4 million total — a figure that was consistently at or near the production’s potential gross. And there was only a modest dip of nearly $12,000 in Criss’ final week, which suggests that the small-screen Warbler may be able to sustain a longer Broadway run should producers want him to return during his summer hiatus from Glee — assuming Ryan Murphy & Co. will let him skip the expected Glee summer concert tour. (Nick Jonas, who begins performances tomorrow as corporate-ladder climber J. Pierrepont Finch, is contracted through July 1.)
As expected, overall Broadway box office was down for the week — and is likely to dip further as shows like Chinglish, Relatively Speaking, and On a Clear Day You Can See Forever play their final performances this Sunday. One promising newcomer is Porgy and Bess — excuse me, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess — which is showing early signs of being a hit. In its first full week since its Jan. 12 opening, the Audra McDonald-led revival played to 87 percent capacity and grossed a strong $878,000, about three-quarters of its potential gross in the Richard Rodgers Theatre.