Planning to visit New York (Broadway, specifically) now? Maybe in the weeks/months ahead?

The picture is getting rosier, now that box office gross figures are now being shared for the Broadway community … visitors like us. Nothing succeeds like success.

Two startling points:

  •  “The Music Man,” unofficially known as the Hugh Jackman show, brought in  $3,451,723.68. It needed a bona fide household-known “name” star. And it’s got one of the most luminous stars of screen and stage.
  •  “Hamilton,” which used to be the consistent No. 1 winner before the pandemic, grossed $2,272,219.00. It created stardom for Lin-Manuel Miranda and Leslie Odom Jr. in particular, but it doesn’t need a “name” star.

“The Music Man” is a reboot and would be harder to sell if there weren’t a Jackman as the centrifugal force; in Broadway parlance, a name-above-the-title star. The parallel situation is, if you didn’t have a Bette Midler, you wouldn’t have had a hot “Hello, Dolly!” “Hamilton” created stars, in its early run, and the title is the mega-wattage star, no matter who’s in the show.

Gross figures for the week ending March 20, 2022

Show NameGrossTotalAttn Capacity%CapacitAvg. Paid Admission
AMERICAN UTOPIA$977,736.108,8969,05498.25%$109.91
BIRTHDAY CANDLES$148,611.002,1112,18196.79%$70.40
COME FROM AWAY$620,294.307,0618,36884.38%$87.85
DEAR EVAN HANSEN$814,752.256,8707,87287.27%$118.60
HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD$1,704,152.1012,03112,97692.72%$141.65
MJ THE MUSICAL$1,314,240.7010,27011,09692.56%$127.97
MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL$1,381,323.459,70510,40093.32%$142.33
PARADISE SQUARE$355,401.007,5887,84896.69%$46.84
PLAZA SUITE$1,657,089.807,7927,80099.90%$212.67
TAKE ME OUT$351,019.034,0454,68086.43%$86.78
THE BOOK OF MORMON$1,080,338.068,4428,52898.99%$127.97
THE LION KING$1,778,641.0013,39913,56898.75%$132.74
THE MUSIC MAN$3,451,723.6812,18512,20099.88%$283.28
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA$959,191.0610,01912,84078.03%$95.74
TINA – THE TINA TURNER   MUSICAL$778,221.506,47111,82454.73%$120.26

Another startling point: Broadway may be back, but the New York Times’ Sunday Theater Directory, once a major go-to-resources for out-of-towners,

The NY. Times Theater Directory this past Sunday.

is quite skimpy in advertisers buying listings to snare prospective ticket-buyers eager to learn what’s playing and when. Won’t help you with the overview of what’s open for business.

So: online searches, like Ticketmaster or Telecharge, will be resources to check out what’s playing, with ticket prices and seat choices vying for buyers’ attention. This could be a tedious and time-consuming project to decide what to see and when.

Of course, there is the option of the TKTS discount booth in Times Square, where long-running shows offer discounted tickets for same-day purchases. There is a $6 fee per ticket now; further, there’s a Fast Pass option where, within a week of obtaining the pass, you can access sales and bypass the long lines. Mostly for bargain hunters who haven’t yet seen the likes of “The Lion King,” “Wicked,” “The Phantom of the Opera” or “The Book of Mormon.”

Don’t expect to find discounted seats for “The Music Man” and “Hamilton” here. Full price, for certain. …

And that’s Show Biz….


Not surprisingly, a second-season order has been granted to the Hawaii-filmed family series, “Doogie Kamealoha, M.D.,” as first reported by Deadline.

The Disney+ series, starring Peyton Elizabeth Lee, follows the teen character’s criss-crossing challenges, as a medical doctor and as an adolescent high school student. The show is a reboot of “Doogie Howser, M.D.,” which made a youthful Neal Patrick Harris a media star after four seasons on TV.

Peyton Elizabeth Lee

“Doogie” also boasts a robust ensemble, featuring Jason Scott Lee, Kathleen Rose Perkins, Matthew Sato, Wes Tian, Emma Meisel, Mapuana Makia and Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman. The late Al Harrington had a recurring role, too, in his final acting assignment, a great credit for him and for the show.

The series was created and executive-produced by Kourtney Kang, with filming scheduled in the months ahead. Its half-hour format along with  scripts and actors reflecting modern-day Hawaii, make it still the best locally-filmed TV show currently. …

‘Reginald the Vampire’

Hawaii actor Jacob Batalon – you know him best as Ned Leeds, sidekick to Tom Holland’s Peter Parker in the big screen “Spider-man”  hits – soon will be on the small screen as a not-so-common vampire in “Reginald the Vampire.”

Jacob Batalon

Amazon and Hulu have tapped the Syfy dramedy, now in the completing status, for airing territories this summer. Hulu has secured U.S. rights, with Amazon earning rights in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The show is based on Johnny B. Truant’s “Fat Vampire” novels, with Batalon portraying a hefty vampire in a world of fit, beautiful and vain vampires; he falls for a human girl he can’t have and dodges a vampire chieftain who wants him dead. But Reginald has some life-changing powers. …


We misstated, in an earlier mention,  Miguel Cadoy III’s new position at Farrington High School. Cadoy, who directs the Farrington Performing Arts Academy’s musicals annually, will continue in that capacity.

But his new job will be as director for all the academies at Farrington –Creative Arts & Technology, Business, Engineering, Public Service, and Health – and will entail a more visible prominence within the community. …

Richard Marx

Calendar notes

Richard Marx will perform his chart hits, “Hold on to the Night,” “Satisfied” and “Right Here Waiting,” in a Blue Note Hawaii gig at 8 p.m. June 23 and 24. Tickets are $125 and $95, available at www.bluenotehawaii.com or (808) 777-4890. …

Kumu Kahua launches Ryan Okinaka’s “Who You Again,” at 8 p.m. tomorrow (March 24), for a run through April 24. With its sensitive but a realistic theme – a family wrestles with the challenges of its matriarch with fading memory due to Alzheimer’s – so the theater is embracing an ambitious outreach program as part of the play’s run.

For instance, a post-show conversation will follow the March 25 performance, with participation by the playwright and Dr. Poki‘i Balaz, chair of the Alzheimer’s Association’s Aloha Chapter.

A Talk Back session will follow the April 1 performance, with participants Okinaka and Balaz.

A pre-show addition –music by Every Single Day, a trio – will be featured from 1 to 1:45 p.m. on the theater’s lanai on April 3 and 24.

Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays,  through April 24 (no matinee on April 17).

A digital offering will be available later.

Tickets: $5 to $25, at  www.kumukahua.org or call (808) 536-4441.

And that’s Show Biz. …


Step by step, flinch by flinch, “The 39 Steps” is a romping Hichcockian mystery, laced with vaudevillian mirth, requiring precise timing and awesome versatility … and wholly enacted by a remarkable company of four.

A true ensemble piece, Manoa Valley Theatre’s staging of Patrick Barlow’s adaptation of John Buchan’s novel and Alfred Hitchcock’s film, is full of belly laughs, high energy, quick pacing, breathless antics and theatrical shenanigans that may make you flinch, groan and cheer. As directed by Rob Duval, the production utilizes a minimalist set by Andrew Doan that involves a theatrical proscenium arch with closable curtain and seating boxes at both stage left and right, slamming doors, and a scrim that enables moments of giddy shadow puppetry. The versatile props by La Tanya Faamausill-Siliato include oversized trunks that serve as tables as well as train seats. In short: non-stop groans and giggles, with efficient surroundings.

Rachel League and Garrett Hols, in “The 39 Steps” at Manoa Valley Theatre

It’s a short run, however; “The 39 Steps” opened Thursday (March 17) and closes March 27, so you have today (March 20) and the upcoming weekend to catch the laughs.

The characters are Richard Hannay (a steadfast Garrett Hols, nimble and agile, confident and comedic), a somewhat bored London bachelor who meets a shapely Annabella Schmidt (Rachel League, versatile and mobile, whose other roles are Pamela and Margaret, achieved with wigs and costume changes and perhaps some tongue in cheek.. She is killed in his presence in a hilarious demise, but not before she recites a few clues, and he dispatches himself to Scotland as a potential murderer attempting to prove his innocence. (Kinda like Dr. Richard Kimble, played by David Janssen on the old TV serial, “The Fugitive,” dodging his pursuers of a crime he did not commit. But waaaaaay funnier).

A pair of workhorses, Matthew Miller and Andrew Baker, designated as Clown 1 and Clown 2, respectively, enact a barrel full of more roles than imaginable, from constables to London Palladium emcees/comedians, from  bad-wigged women to train ticket-takers. Kudos and ovations, dudes, for turning bit parts into a mammoth tidal wave of guffaws.

The physical comedy is amazing, notably the sequence where Hannay is aboard a train and in pursuit by Miller and Baker; the gents have a raucous and remarkable imaginary “chase,” with hands and bodies supposedly dangling from the outside of the train car whisking on its tracks, and another dangerous venture on a ladder attached to two other ladders, requiring strenuous  energy (and risks of tumbling down) by the gents, and grand imagination from the spectators.

All this, with the actors even employing the Brit accent for credibility amid the maze of the unexpected.

Tickets: $22 to $40 at www.manoavalleytheatre.com or (808) 988-6131…

And that’s Show Biz. …


A tisket, a tasket, it’s soon time for an Easter basket.

Well, a lapel pin in the motif of a basket, depicted here.

Did about two dozen of these little guys; fun to make, but labor-intensive, and requiring tiny ornamentals of bunnies and chicks.

They’re part of my Easter thrust this year, and yes, I’m happy with the results.