Two Broadway plays make it into black
Prompting wisecracks that only the potty-mouthed and clowns make money on Broadway these days, two productions, “The Motherfucker With the Hat” and “Ghetto Klown,” have recouped their capitalization costs, according to producers of those shows.
“Klown,” the solo show starring John Leguizamo, was capitalized at $2 million. Producers for “Motherfucker,” the Stephen Adly Guirgis’ play with a cast that includes Chris Rock and Bobby Cannavale, aren’t saying how much it cost to mount the show, but it’s estimated to be in the $3 million range.
Although “Motherfucker” initially started off slow at the box office, strong reviews and the publicity attention from six Tony noms helped sales pick up steam, with last week’s receipts ringing in at around $750,000. For the past month the show has logged an audience capacity of 92% or higher.
The recoupment for “Ghetto Klown,” which shuttered this past Sunday, may have come as more of a surprise, given the fact that the show’s grosses never broke the $400,000 mark during its 20-week run. On the other hand, the production generally played weeks of just six perfs each (rather than the standard eight), and, as a solo outing, likely wasn’t terribly costly to maintain.
Helmed by Fisher Stevens and produced by WestBeth Entertainment, Daveed D. Frazier and Nelle Nugent, Leguizamo’s autobiographical outing is gearing up for a U.S. tour to hit the road in the fall, with a subsequent 2012 South American tour seeing the thesp perform the show in Spanish.
“Motherfucker” — produced by a team that includes Scott Rudin, Stuart Thompson, Public Theater Prods. and LAByrinth Theater Company — closes on Sunday. Show’s Tony nominations included play, actor (Cannavale), actress (Elizabeth Rodriguez), supporting actor (Yul Vazquez) and director (Anna D. Shapiro).