Why Can’t Celebs Sell B’way Tickets?

Forest Whitaker (pictured) is just the latest movie name whose well-reviewed show — a revival of O’Neill’s “Hughie” — isn’t lighting up the Broadway box office. Gordon Cox offers a reasonable analysis as to why a name — unless it is Denzel Washington or Hugh Jackman — can no longer guarantee a hit. My own theory, which Cox discusses, is that even with the potential discounts a Broadway ticket is expensive. And if you are taking a family member it’s really expensive. What’s more — and this is something Cox doesn’t discuss — is that, increasingly, the play not the star is the thing. When everyone says “Hamilton” is wonderful, or “The Lion King” is wonderful, or the revivals of “The Color Purple” and “The King and I” are wonderful, those become the experiences on which to splash out for tickets. You feel you are getting your money’s worth. You can always find your favorite star on Twitter and/or Instagram. Why pay? [photo: Marc Brenner]

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