Broadway has record season as ticket revenues double in 10 years

Despite lacking big several shows such as “Tootsie” and “The Prom” have still done well on Broadway. (AFP)
Updated 30 May 2019

Broadway has record season as ticket revenues double in 10 years

  • Some 14.7 million people spent $1.82 billion on tickets to see 38 different shows
  • Earnings have nearly doubled in the past decade and more than tripled in the last 20 years

NEW YORK: Broadway shows in New York had a record-breaking 2018-2019 season, the theater district said Wednesday, both in attendance and revenues, which have doubled in the last 10 years.
Some 14.7 million people spent $1.82 billion on tickets to see 38 different shows, with revenue up 7.8 percent from the year before.
Earnings have nearly doubled in the past decade and more than tripled in the last 20 years.
A statement from The Broadway League notes that the comparison between 2018-2019 and 2017-2018 gets even better when correcting for the fact the 2017-2018 season was 53 weeks instead of 52 — attendance would have been up 9.5 percent and revenues up 10.3 percent.
Despite lacking hits as big as 2015-2016’s “Hamilton,” 2016-2017’s “Dear Evan Hansen” or “2017-2018’s “The Band’s Visit,” several shows, such as “Tootsie” and “The Prom” have still done well.
And the much-anticipated adaptation of Harper Lee’s iconic anti-racism novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” was the breakout of the season.
After a jump last year, overall ticket prices remained fairly stable, with an average cost of $123.87, a 0.6 percent increase.
But this stability masks a strong disparity between the price of tickets for musicals, which were down by 2.3 percent, and the price of tickets for plays, which saw a sharp rise of 30 percent.
That was partly due to the effect of tickets for “To Kill a Mockingbird,” which in some cases sold for as much as $499.


Tulips from Amsterdam? A blooming scam, says new probe

This file photo taken on March 6, 2003 shows bulbs at the flower market in Amsterdam. (AFP)
Updated 16 October 2019

Tulips from Amsterdam? A blooming scam, says new probe

  • Tulip bulbs should only be sold between August to December and planted before the start of the (northern hemisphere) winter, in order for the flowers to bloom in spring

THE HAGUE: Tourists are being ripped off at Amsterdam’s famous flower market, with just one percent of all bulbs sold at the floating bazaar ever producing a blossom, investigators said Tuesday.
A probe commissioned by the Dutch capital’s municipality and tulip growers also found that often only one flower resembled the pictures on the packaging like color, and that there were fewer bulbs than advertised.
“The probe showed that there is chronic deception of consumers,” at the sale of tulip bulbs at the flower market, the Royal General Bulb Growers’ Association (KAVB) said.
“Millions of tourists and day-trippers are being duped,” KAVB chairman Rene le Clercq said in a statement.
Amsterdam and the KAVB have now referred the matter to the Dutch consumer watchdog.
The Amsterdam flower market is one of the city’s most famous landmarks and dates from around 1862, when flower sellers sailed their barges up the Amstel River and moored them in the “Singel” to sell their goods.
Its fame inspired the popular song “Tulips from Amsterdam,” best known for a 1958 version by British entertainer Max Bygraves.
Today the market comprises of a number of fixed barges with little greenhouses on top. Vendors not only sell tulip bulbs but also narcissus, snowdrops, carnations, violets, peonies and orchids.
But of 1,363 bulbs bought from the Singel and then planted, just 14 actually bloomed, the investigation said.
Investigators found a similar problem along the so-called “flower bulb boulevard” in Lisse, a bulb-field town south of Amsterdam where the famous Keukenhof gardens are also situated.
Since first imported from the Ottoman Empire 400 years ago, tulips “have become our national symbol and the bulb industry a main player in the Dutch economy,” said Le Clercq.
But the “deception about the tulip bulbs is a problem that has been existing for the past 20 years,” he added.

The victims are often tourists, KAVB director Andre Hoogendijk said.
“A tourist who buys a bad bulb is not likely to come back,” he told Amsterdam’s local AT5 news channel.
Vendors at the market told AT5 that complaints were known.
“There are indeed stalls here that sell rubbish. That is to everyone’s disadvantage, because it portrays the whole flower market in a bad light,” one unidentified vendor said.
But a spokesperson for the City of Amsterdam said that all vendors were being investigated “and that the results are shocking.”
“So to say that it is only a few stalls is not true,” the spokesperson told AFP in an email.
The probe took place earlier in the year during springtime, the spokesperson said.
“The issue is that you shouldn’t even sell tulip bulbs during the spring. No decent florist shop in Holland does that.”
Tulip bulbs should only be sold between August to December and planted before the start of the (northern hemisphere) winter, in order for the flowers to bloom in spring.