“Plaza Suite,” the hot-ticket Neil Simon revival that stars Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick, has been a box office juggernaut since debuting last spring. The show has become the third-highest grossing play revival in Broadway history, generating $26.4 million in ticket sales as of last weekend. That ranks just behind the 2014 revival of “It’s Only a Play,” which netted $34.3 million, as well as the 2005 revival of “The Odd Couple” with its $28.9 million gross. Both of those shows also featured Broderick, making him investors’ favorite ingredient when it comes to reviving plays. “Plaza Suite” should end its run in the $28 million range.
The show was originally intended to open in spring 2020, but was delayed after COVID shuttered live theater. “Plaza Suite” centers on three different stories involving three very different couples, all of whom are played by real-life married couple Broderick and Parker. All of the vignettes happen to unfold in the same luxury hotel suite.
“Its success is attributed to Neil Simon and Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker,” says John Benjamin Hickey, the show’s director. “The play is such a wonderful marathon for two great actors to scale such heights. It’s such fun seeing them playing six different characters and they had such a great time doing it.”
The show, which performed at the Hudson Theatre, broke several house records, setting new benchmarks for single performance ticket sales and weekly grosses. The box office success of “Plaza Suite” is also notable because the show didn’t enjoy rapturous reviews and it was shut out of the Tony Awards, landing only a single nomination for its costumes. Hickey doesn’t seem unduly disturbed by the lack of awards attention.
“I’m so proud to be in a show that New Yorkers and the rest of the country are all eager to see,” says Hickey. “A lot of people risked getting COVID and spent a lot of money to come and see this show and I’m just profoundly grateful to them.”
And it might not have happened had Parker and Broderick not told their reps to keep their schedules clear so they could return to the show if and when Broadway reopened. Doing that meant that 270 arts workers, including costume makers, carpenters, set builders, custodians and ushers, were all able to draw a paycheck.
“Plaza Suite” ends its run on July 10, but Hickey hinted that Parker and Broderick may not be ready to check out for good. Could the show go on tour or play a special performance somewhere?
“From your lips to anybody’s ears who can make that happen,” says Hickey. “Maybe there’s been some hoping and dreaming and even a little planning to that effect. I can’t speak for anyone, but I know how much Matthew and Sarah loved doing this, and I think they would love for it to continue in some fashion. They could both use a nice long weekend, but I think they are both reticent to say goodbye to it.”