There had been speculation that choosing not to follow Nathan Lane and Lee Evans, who opened the production, with comparably big names would be disastrous for the box office, especially with big competition from Guys and Dolls, Mary Poppins and Billy Elliot – The Musical.
However, Variety reports that July 2005 saw box-office tills at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, reach a total gross of $9.55 million. It took nine months to claw back the initial outlay.
Not only that, says the trade paper, but the show holds the highest box office total for one day’s sales in the West End’s history: It took in $650,000 on Nov. 10, 2004, after the reviews came out. It also claims the highest weekly London gross, notching up almost $1.5 million of sales during Christmas week.
The London production currently stars Fred Applegate as Max Bialystock and John Gordon Sinclair as Leo Bloom. Co-starring are Nicolas Colicos, James Dreyfuss, Conleth Hill and Leigh Zimmerman.
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