‘It’s Only A Play’ Turns a Broadway Profit

It’s only a hit: Starry Broadway comedy “It’s Only a Play,” a megaseller since it began performances in October, has recouped its $3.9 million capitalization, according to the show’s producers.

The backstage comedy’s speedy journey into the black isn’t a surprise, given the powerhouse grosses that are more common to razzledazzle musicals than to straight plays. Thanks to a critical mass of big-name stars including Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Megan Mullally, Stockard Channing, Rupert Grint and F. Murray Abraham, the title has grossed more than $1 million per week since its first full week of eight performances, with its best tally yet (for the week ending Dec. 7) coming in at $1.4 million. The consistent strength of the show’s box office has propelled producers to decide to move the production next door to the Jacobs Theater for an extended run, ceding its current home, the Schoenfeld, to the incoming production of Helen Mirren starrer “The Audience.”

The play becomes the first production of the 2014-15 season to recoup — although the season’s unusually long list of other big-money, star-driven plays (such as Bradley Cooper starrer “The Elephant Man” and Hugh Jackman topliner “The River”) seem poised to turn a profit swiftly as well.

Juggernaut sales are certain to continue for “It’s Only a Play” through early January, when Lane will depart the show to topline “The Iceman Cometh” at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in January. Martin Short will fill in for him, with Broadway fave Katie Finneran and “30 Rock” alum Maulik Pancholy rotating in later in January when Mullally and Grint exit. Whether the “It’s Only a Play” continues to sell as strongly with its new cast additions remains to be seen.

Tom Kirdahy, Roy Furman and Ken Davenport lead the producing team of “It’s Only a Play.” Kirdahy is also shepherding a production of the musical “The Visit” toward Broadway, with the aim of getting it in sooner rather than later.

Popular on Variety

More Legit

  • David-Alan-Grier-Blair-Underwood

    David Alan Grier and Blair Underwood to Star in 'A Soldier's Play' on Broadway

    David Alan Grier and Blair Underwood will star in a Broadway production of Pulitzer-Prize winning drama “A Soldier’s Play.” The play, written by Charles Fuller, is set in 1944 and follows a murder mystery centered around the death of black Sergeant Vernon C. Waters (played by Grier) who is found on a Louisiana army base. [...]

  • The Inheritance review

    'The Inheritance' Announces Broadway Cast

    After an Olivier-winning run in London, “The Inheritance” is gearing up for its Broadway debut. The two-part epic has set the cast for its transfer from the West End to the Great White Way. John Benjamin Hickey, Paul Hilton, Samuel H. Levine, Andrew Burnap and Kyle Soller are among the cast members reprising their roles [...]

  • Patrick Page, Amber Grey, Eva Noblezada,

    'Hadestown' Announces 2020 National Tour

    ‘Hadestown’, the eight-time Tony award winning Broadway musical, is set for a national tour in 2020. The show will stop in more than 30 cities including Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New Orleans, and more. The musical is a stage adaptation of the Greek myths of Orpheus and Eurydice and King Hades and his wife [...]

  • Jake Gyllenhaal

    Listen: Why Jake Gyllenhaal Is His 'Best Self' in the Theater

    Looking for the best possible version of Jake Gyllenhaal? You’ll find it onstage, according to the actor himself. Listen to this week’s podcast below: “I am my best self when I’m working in the theater,” Gyllenhaal said on the latest episode Stagecraft, Variety’s theater podcast, on which he appeared with Carrie Cracknell, the director of [...]

  • Photo: Jeremy Daniel

    'The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical' Gets Broadway Run

    “The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical” is Broadway bound. The musical adaptation of the franchise about a teenager who discovers he’s the son of Poseidon hits the Great White Way on Sept. 20 ahead of an Oct. 16 opening night. It comes on the heels of an extensive, nationwide tour that took the show [...]

  • Tom Sturridge Jake Gyllenhaal

    Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge Celebrate 'Sea Wall/A Life' With Star-Studded Opening Night

    A star-studded audience looked on as Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge returned to the stage for their double monologue performance in “Sea Wall/A Life.” Theater-goers and celebs including Anne Hathaway, Tom Hiddleston and John Mulaney gathered in Manhattan’s Hudson Theatre for opening night, celebrating a show tackling grief, birth and death through the eyes of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content