The holidays proved to be blessing for the Broadway community – and an unexpected No. 1 emerged with a whopping $4 million gross for the week ending Jan. 1.

 “The Lion King,” fresh from its 25th anniversary the past year, logged a stunning $4.31 million from nine performances last week, doing one more show than the usual eight. (I guess the back-to-back holiday slot made most shows do one extra performance that week). Thus, the “Lion” became king of the grosses, between Christmas and New Year’s celebrations.

The $4 million gross was the first-ever posted for Broadway, so it’s a historical moment.

The top ten also was a free-for-all for long-running musicals with unexpected power and glow at the box office, toppling even “Hamilton,” usually in the top two or three in the playbook..

So the rest of the top 10:

No. 2 – “The Music Man,” $3.971 million.

No. 3 – “Wicked,” with $3.215 million.

No. 4 – “Aladdin,” with $2.849 million.

No. 5 – “The Phantom of the Opera,” with $2.786 million.

No. 6“Hamilton,” with $2.74 million.

No. 7 – “Beetlejuice,” with $2.462 million.

No. 8 – “Funny Girl,” with “$2.405 million.

No. 9 – “MJ,” with “$2.223 million.

No.10—“Moulin Rouge,” with $1.975 million.

If you’ve been following my reportage of the pulse of the Great White Way, this is quite amazing, ain’t it?  The burst of holiday visitors in New York, coupled with the Christmas and New Year’s timing, put the jingle and tingle at the box office.

The figures are courtesy the Broadway League:

Project Shaka seeks funding

The shaka sign needs help, with donations sought to erect a sculpture  that would be a popular landmark and destination.

The shaka sign.

You know it, you use it several times a day. It’s a noun that also is a verb, and young and old alike know it.

The shaka sign says a lot without words. Aloha. Hello. Howzit. Hang loose.

You know how to flash the sign. Thumb and pinkie fingers up, the other three down, and deliver with a smile.

You recall, Steve Sue, an entrepreneur, has produced a related film, “Shaka, a Story of Aloha,” that explores the shaka phenom and a project that would also someday legitimize the sign.

To support and donate to get the sculpture completed, go to www.shaka.com …

Manoa Valley’s next is interactive ‘Drood’

 Manoa Valley Theatre will present “The Mystery of Edwin Drood,” a musical whodunit by Rupert Holmes based on the unfinished novel of Charles Dickens, opening Jan. 12 and running through Jan. 29.

Audiences will have the chance to become the ultimate detective and help decide who the murderer is.

Cast of Manoa Valley Theatre’s “Edwin Drood” musical whodunit.

The cast features Christopher Denton as The Chairman, Miguel Cadoy III as John Jasper (Mr. Clive Paget), Kim Anderson as Rosa Bud (Miss Deirdre Peregrine), Chelsea Carlisle as Edwin Drood (Miss Alice Nutting), Alexandria Zinov as Helena Landless (Miss Janet Conover), Suzanne Johnson Green as Princess Puffer (Miss Angela Prysock), Alex Bishop as Neville Landless (Mr. Victor Grinstead), Chris Moylan as Reverend Crisparkle (Mr. Cedric Moncrieffe), Don Farmer as Bazzard (Mr. Phillip Bax), Andrew Baker as Durdles (Nick Cricker Sr.), Jace Furuto as Deputy (Nick Cricker Jr.), Emily-Kim Maldonado as Wendy (Isabel Yearsley), Gina Miyazaki as Beatrice (Violet Balfour), Bailey Garton as Sarah (Gwendolen Pynn), Korynn Grenert as Flo (Florence Gill), Natalie Malia Figuracion Borsky as Estella (Montague Pruitt), Sean Kaya as Horace (Nicholas Michael), Issac Liu as Medford Moss and Garrett Hols as James Throttle.

The tech staff  includes Miles Phillips, director and co-choreographer with Taylor Gruver; Jenny Shiroma, musical director; Michael Covert, assistant director; Shell Dalzel, technical director; Andrew Doan, scenic director; Willie Sabel, scenic art director; John Cummings, prop designer; Jonah Bobilin, lighting director; Hannah Jitsukawa, costume designer; Amber Lehua Baker, costume supervisor; Lisa Ponce de Leon, hair and makeup designer;  Lock Lynch, sound and designer and engineer; and Sarah Velasco, assistant sound designe.r

Performances are on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, with curtain at 7:30 p.m. daily and 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Tickets: $42 for adults, $37 for seniors and military, $24 for youths 25 and younger, available by phone at  (808) 988-6131 or online at manoavalleytheatre.com. …

And that’s Show Biz. …

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