Chi ‘Angels’ Flies High

The first national touring company of Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America” left Chicago’s Royal George Theater Feb. 25 on a high note. Over the course of a six-month run, the production grossed approximately $2.7 million, with a total audience of close to 70,000.

With “Angels” grosses well above break-even almost every week of the engagement, co-producer Robert Perkins estimated the production recouped around $750,000 to $800,000 of its $1.2 million capitalization, though all the costs of preparing the production for the remainder of its road tour have yet to be included.

Whatever fate awaits on the road, the show’s producers proved they could market “Angels” to a broad audience in Chicago. Notes Perkins: “We sold it as a mainstream show in Chicago, and audiences accepted it as a major work of theater.” Indeed, when the show opened to highly favorable notices, the producers boldly raised ticket prices $5 across the board, establishing a record $50 top ticket for an Off Loop production.

The producers stuck with that price scale until December, when they announced a half-off sale for most January performances, mimicking a similar deal on offer at the time for many Broadway productions.

Meanwhile, Perkins and Jujamcyn Theaters have been slow to announce the post-“Angels” lineup at the Royal George. Thus far, the only scheduled attraction is a March 14-17 run of “The Mommies Live: Looking for an Outlet,” featuring the stars of the TV comedy “Mommies.”

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