Yes, “Book of Mormon” is a Hit…

… but just how big of a hit?

To find out, take a glance at the Eugene O’Neill’s marquee.  In the grand tradition of “Cats” (those yellow eyes!), “Phantom” (that mask!) and “Merchant” (Pacino!), words have given way to a single, iconic image– in this case, a shiny doorknob. Tickets cost  $8,000,000, it’s “the best musical of the century,” there aren’t seats until 2020, but it’s the marquee, I think, that says it all.

The demand for this (admittedly fun) show is so insane, the brand so instantly identifiable, that titles are superfluous. Now that’s what I call a hit.

Are those South Park guys the new Andrew Lloyd Webber?


Spring Fever

It’s marquee season on Broadway — the moment just before spring shows go into full swing, and freshly postered theaters taunt their half-baked wares to hungry passers-by. Every new show is a potential hit, and this sense of promise makes a theater-lover giddy with ticket-buying anticipation.

What to see first is the real question: “How to Succeed,” starring a wandless Daniel Radcliff? Or “Book of Mormon,” whose workshops were such a smash that reviews might be irrelevant? (As the show’s pervasive ad material frequently reminds us, “Vogue” has already surmised that “Mormon” might be “the funniest musical of all time.”) Then, of course, there’s “Catch Me if You Can,” the new project from the team behind that most rapturous of musical-theater perfections, “Hairspray.” Can they live up to their poppy, Tony-gilded reputation? Let’s hope so!

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