Producer Scott Rodin and the rest of the investors need not be concerned of the danger of living in a meta-reality based on Willy Loman’s own tragic combination of disillusionment and fear of betrayal. Why so grand a statement? Well, Death of a Salesman has recouped its initial capitalization, as reported by the New York Times. This is incredible considering the move to seven shows a week instead of eight and raising Death of a Salesman tickets to the levels unseen by a dramatic production in years.
Theatergoers are more than willing to pay near Book of Mormon prices to see Philip Seymour Hoffman, Andrew Garfield, and Linda Emond earn their Tony Award nominations every night. I would say the same for director Mike Nichols’ contributions, but no one comes to see a Broadway director. This willingness has brought the investors a couple of weeks to turn a huge profit.
In a world in which only 30 percent of Broadway productions (plays and musicals) are able to turn a profit, his has been an astounding run. It took 14 weeks of the 16-week run to make this happen. Most of the time this would mean an extension for a revival or original production, but it has been clearly and deafeningly stated that the 2012 revival of Death of a Salesman will close its curtains at the Barrymore Theatre on June 2.
In other words, this production is going out on top without a replacement cast to usher in a few more months to really drive home a profit. I think the theater community appreciates the foreseeable disappointment of seeing a cast of actors getting their big break in a second run (though those ticket prices would have to drop dramatically from the current $425 price tag). Especially, if any of those actors are going to be accepting individual awards eight Days later at the 2012 Tony Awards.