For a relatively new show whose pedigree is a 20-year-old hit film and a recent hit London production, the number is considered huge — particularly since it's playing in a 1,500-seat venue, the Royal Alexandra Theatre. Converted to U.S. dollars, the week's gross is $1,361,755 — comparable to the gross of Broadway's The Lion King (at the 1,654-seat Minskoff) in recent weeks.
The week's take is a box office record for the 100-year-old theatre Royal Alexandra. However, such reported milestones are always misleading, since ticket prices are so much higher than in the past.
Representing eight performances, "these sales are assumed to also be a record for a weekly theatrical presentation in Toronto," according to the producers.
The success in Toronto would seem to be a sure indication that a U.S. production, aiming to open in fall 2008 at Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre, will also be a sensation. A run in New York City would seem to be inevitable.
The Toronto production began performances on Oct. 31, 2007 and had its official opening night on Nov. 15, 2007. Tickets are now available for performances until Aug. 31, 2008. "Over 90,000 people have attended Dirty Dancing in Toronto thus far," stated producer David Mirvish. "This is certainly a show that has struck a chord with Canadian audiences — as the show has done in productions in England, Australia and Germany. In fact, it's accurate to describe Dirty Dancing as the kind of blockbuster that only comes along very rarely in the theatre."
The Mirvishes teamed with producers Jacobsen Entertainment, Lionsgate and Magic Hour Productions to bring Dirty Dancing — written by Eleanor Bergstein and directed by James Powell — to Toronto.
Written by Eleanor Bergstein, writer and co-producer of the successful film, Dirty Dancing "is a coming of age love story involving the talented and headstrong dancer Johnny Castle and Frances 'Baby' Houseman. During her family's summer holiday at the popular Kellerman's resort, Baby, a doctor's daughter with dreams of joining the Peace Corps, meets Johnny, the guy from the wrong side of the tracks. Against all odds, they fall in love, learning life-changing lessons along the way."
Tickets for the Toronto run can be purchased by phone through TicketKing at (416) 872-1212 or (800) 461-3333, online through www.mirvish.com and in-person at the Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King Street West.
For more information, visit www.dirtydancingtoronto.ca.