Monday, March 31, 2014
In Audiences on Broadway, Fewer Guys Among the Dolls
By PATRICK HEALYMARCH 29, 2014
More men are steering clear of Broadway, and not even this spring’s ultimate bro show — “Rocky,” the new musical about the beloved boxing underdog — has found a way to fill seats with them.
While men have been hanging back for years, their current scarcity, at a time when overall Broadway attendance is down, is particularly stark. Only 32 percent of audience members last year were men, or 3.7 million, compared with 42 percent (or 4.2 million) in 1980.
This season is not providing any relief. Yankees fans skipped the baseball-themed “Bronx Bombers,” which flopped fast. John Grisham guys passed on the adaptation of “A Time to Kill,” which closed after seven weeks. Among musicals, “Big Fish” was all about dads, and “First Date” sold shot glasses to underscore its dude appeal, yet both shows were strikingly poor sellers.
Women drive Broadway sales, though successful shows often depend on them to wrangle their husbands or boyfriends.