David Copperfield's Dreams & Nightmares reportedly will break a Broadway box office record by selling $6 million in tickets for its five-week run at the Martin Beck Theatre, Newsweek magazine reports.
The magic/music extravaganza was already a hit before it began previews, having sold more than $2.1 million worth of tickets by late November. The show is playing a very unusual 15-performance week (most shows do eight) to capitalize on audience interest. Newsweek's Dec. 23 issue reported that because of the special schedule, Copperfield's show will reap the highest five-week box office gross ever (about $6 million) before it closes Dec. 29.
Copperfield's 77-performance run at the Martin Beck Theatre must end on that date, after which he is scheduled to take the show on tour. Andrew Lloyd Webber's new musical, Whistle Down the Wind, is booked to start previews at the Beck in March.
Playwright David Ives (All in the Timing) and director Francis Ford Coppola have helped the magician with the script for the show, subtitled "An Intimate Evening of Grand Illusion" which uses Copperfield's youthful dreams and nightmares as the framework for his magic tricks.
This is Copperfield's Broadway debut, and he's serious about making the most of it. His show includes many of the illusions developed during his recent North American tour, but with a greatly enhanced physical production and script. To help, Copperfield has brought aboard Ives to adapt his touring show The Magic of David Copperfield, and Coppola, the master filmmaker responsible for The Godfather trilogy, Apocalypse Now, Bram Stoker's Dracula and the musical Finian's Rainbow among many others. Coppola is credited with coming up with the new title for the show. Ishioka is an Oscar winner for her costumes in Bram Stoker's Dracula.
Copperfield reportedly was influenced by seeing Bob Fosse's Pippin -- the "Magic To Do" musical -- when he was a young man, and said he regards Broadway as a career pinnacle.
Even his choice of theatre is significant. The Martin Beck was named for the famed theatre manager who numbered among his clients the master magician Houdini.
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