Broadway's 'Once' Recoups Initial $5.5 Million Investment

Photo Source: Joan Marcus

The Tony-winning Broadway musical "Once" has recouped its $5.5 million investment after only 21 weeks and 169 performances, which means that the show has become profitable "faster than any new Broadway musical in more than a decade," the producers announced Aug. 13.

"Once" is based on the 2006 film about the unlikely romance between an Irish street musician and a Czech flower seller. Songs written and performed by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, who co-starred in the film, are also featured in the Broadway musical. Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti star as "Guy" and "Girl" in the stage production.

After a developmental run Off-Broadway at New York Theater Workshop last winter, "Once" opened on Broadway March 18, 2012, at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre. "Once" won eight Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Direction of a Musical for John Tiffany, Best Book of a Musical for Enda Walsh, and Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for Kazee. A national tour is scheduled to launch in the summer of 2013.

While only 20 to 30 percent of Broadway productions typically recoup their investments and turn a profit, Broadway producer Ken Davenport ("Godspell," "Chinglish") noted in June on his blog "The Producer's Perspective" that approximately 75 percent of the last 30 Best Play and 30 Best Musical Tony Award winners recouped, including recent Best Musical Tony winners "Book of Mormon," "Memphis," and "Next to Normal."