"Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella," "Mama Mia!" and "The
Phantom of the Opera" have begun Thursday matinees in addition
to, or instead of, the usual Wednesday afternoon performance.
"We banded together and decided to be pioneers on this and to
see if we can make it work," said Robyn Goodman, the producer of
"Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella" and Tony winning musicals
"Avenue Q" and "In the Heights."
"It will be a trend if it works," she added. "I think it gives
people flexibility in their scheduling.
Each show will have eight performances every week.
"Cinderella," starring Grammy-nominated pop singer Carly Rae
Jepsen in the title role, will feature two week-day matinees — Wednesday and Thursday — but there will be no performance on
Wednesday evening. Half of its shows will be matinees.
"Mama Mia!," which has been playing on Broadway since 2001 and
features hit songs by the 1970s Swedish pop group Abba, will,
along with "Phantom of the Opera," switch its weekday matinee
from Wednesday to Thursday.
"Phantom," the Andrew Lloyd Webber Tony-winning smash hit opened
in 1988 and is the longest running show in the history of
Broadway and the most successful musical of all time.
Charlotte St. Martin, the executive director of The Broadway
League trade association that represents theatre owners, said
the new schedule of matinees should benefit everyone.
"The new option of a Thursday matinee provides even more
opportunities to better accommodate the changing schedule of our
theatergoers," she said in an email.
Attendance on Broadway dropped slightly in the 2012-2013 season
to 11.6 million, from 12.3 million the previous season,
according to data from the league.
(Reporting by Patricia Reaney; editing by Gunna Dickson)
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