China Doll Recoups 3.7 Million Dollar Investment

AL Pacina - China Doll - Photo Jeremy Daniel

AL Pacina – China Doll – Photo Jeremy Daniel

From the New York Times

“China Doll,” a critically panned but commercially successful new David Mamet play starring Al Pacino, has recouped its $3.7 million investment costs.

The play, about a wealthy businessman who runs afoul of his state’s governor, started off blazing hot at the box office, reflecting the high regard audiences have for Mr. Pacino; since reviewers questioned the quality of the drama itself, business has slowed, although at a time (January) when Broadway grosses generally take a dip.

The show’s lead producer, Jeffrey Richards, said he was pleased with the work, which he said has been revised and improved even after its official (and delayed) opening.

“It’s been ultimately very rewarding because of the work that’s been done during the actual run of the play,” Mr. Richards said. “The ending has been changed by the playwright, and the audiences have embraced it recently, which has been very encouraging.”

The play, which began previews on Oct. 21, opened for a limited run on Dec. 4, and is scheduled to close on Jan. 31. It has generally played six or seven performances a week (most Broadway shows are staged eight times a week); it grossed more than $1 million during six of its first seven weeks, but has been dropping since, to $552,601 for six performances last week.

Mr. Richards said the play, which has only two characters, would have a post-Broadway life: he said that more than 30 theaters around the country have licensed the show, and that he expected several international productions next year.

Tulis McCall

Author: Tulis McCall

For my money, the theatre is up there in the ten top reasons to be human. I leave my home and go sit in a dark room with complete strangers and watch actors do their stuff because I want to be inspired. I’m asking to be involved. I’m volunteering to be led down any old path they choose as long as they don’t let go of my hand. And if I see a show, and it is NOT so very good – I will try to divert you, because I don’t want you to come to the temple when the preaching isn’t up to snuff. I will bar the door, I will swing from rafters, I will yell FIRE just to set your feet on a path that does not lead to disappointment. Do something different with your evening I will say. Save your money for dinner with a friend you haven’t seen in months because you are too frigging busy. Go take a walk with your dog or your child or your significant other. Go to bed early, I will say. Don’t come to the theatre when it is less than it can be. I’m an usher snob, and that’s all there is to it.

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