The Soundtrack of Their Lives: Broadway Musicals Cater to Baby Boomers

By Robert Simonson
26 Aug 2013

By attracting the boomers, the producers have also netted an additional, far younger ticketbuyer in the bargain.

"We've noticed that the baby boomers are coming back and bring their children," said Chilewich. "We're able to introduce this music to their children."

John Lloyd Young
Photo by Joan Marcus

Elice was surprised by the pull Jersey Boys had on male theatregoers, as conventional wisdom on Broadway is that women make most ticketbuying decisions. But, said Elice, "Four Seasons fans are male and female, whereas, say, the Beatles fans are mainly women. These were songs for guys, about how to be a certain kind of guy. What that meant for the show is that Jersey Boys always had a very high rate of male attendance. The average ticket buyer for Jersey Boys has not been the typical buyer for other shows, which is to say the 55-year-old female."

Elice and his colleagues sometimes see the same men at performance after performance.

"We notice the same guys walking up the aisle and they'd be with a different woman every time," said Elice. On one occasion, he has stopped these gentlemen and quizzed them on their repeated visits. "They'd say, 'This show's a guarantee, you know what I'm saying?' So it's a good date show."

Elice was quick to add, though, that it doesn't necessarily take a show filled with 1960s tunes to attract the boomer dollar.

"Baby boomers are probably the core of every show now," he said, "except maybe Wicked."