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Broadway’s ‘Once’ recoups swiftly

Broadway musical makes it into black in 21 weeks

Broadway tuner “Once” has recouped its capitalization costs in an unusually quick 21 weeks, according to the show’s producers.

Not many Main Stem musicals manage to make it into the black so quickly. The velocity for “Once” is largely attributable to the intimately staged tuner’s low pricetag of $5.5 million balanced against the strong box office the show has logged since bowing in the spring and going on to pick up eight Tonys, including the top musical trophy. (By contrast, the 2011 Tony fave, megaseller “The Book of Mormon,” was capitalized at $11.5 million and took about nine months to recoup.)

“Once” gradually gained sales momentum in the weeks after it began Rialto perfs Feb. 28, but receipts really spiked after the Tony Awards broadcast in June. For the past couple of months, weekly sales for the show have topped the $1 million mark.

Based on the 2007 indie film, “Once” centers on the wistful almost-romance between an Irish musician and the Czech immigrant he meets on the street. The stage adaptation has music (largely drawn from the film) by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova and book by Enda Walsh. John Tiffany helms a 14-actor cast led by Steve Kazee, who nabbed a Tony for her perf in the show, and Cristin Milioti.

Show was initially developed at American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Mass., prior to its Off Broadway run at New York Theater Workshop in fall 2011. Broadway incarnation is produced by Barbara Broccoli, John N. Hart Jr., Patrick Milling Smith, Frederick Zollo, Brian Carmody, Michael G. Wilson, Orin Wolf and the Shubert Org, in association with NYTW. Robert Cole exec produces.

“Once” continues its open-ended run at the Rialto’s Jacobs Theater, with a road tour set to launch in summer 2013.

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