A new Thursday matinee seems to be paying off for the Neil Diamond Broadway bio-musical A Beautiful Noise: Last week the show grossed more than $1 million, a nine-month high attributable at least in part to an unusual new performance schedule.
Last month, producer Ken Davenport announced that beginning in September the musical would no longer perform on Wednesday evenings, switching instead to a twice-on-Thursday schedule. According to a spokesperson for the production, attendance for the first Thursday matinee (September 7) was a near sell-out of 1,036, about double the July-August average attendance for Wednesday evening shows.
Although specific dollar amounts for the Thursday matinee were not disclosed, the gross was up 130% over the average Wednesday evening gross, according to the rep. For the week ending September 10, the show grossed a total of $1,008,409 for its eight weekly performances, compared to $892,495 the previous week.
When he announced the schedule change, Davenport said that Broadway’s Covid shutdown left a lasting impact on audience patterns, in part due to more New Yorkers working from home and being less inclined to make advance plans. “And my research shows…they are looking for more matinees,” he wrote in a social media post.
Broadway’s standard eight-performance week – matinees on Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday, evening performances on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday – was “set for a different audience in a different decade,” Davenport said.
The jukebox Diamond bio-musical opened in December to mixed critical reviews and was later snubbed by the Tony Awards, but with such beloved classics as “Sweet Caroline,” “Cherry Cherry,” “I Am…I Said,” “Holly Holy” and “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,” among many others, the show initially drew good-sized audiences — many singing along with the hits.