"Box Office" : "Titanic Proportions"
April 17, 1998
by Kipp Cheng
"He's so adorable," gushed a teenage
Titanic fan, but the heartthrob in question wasn't Leo. The young fan was gushing
over Brian d'Arcy James, the male lead in that other dramatization of the doomed ocean
liner Titanic, the musical, which is docked at No. 5 on Broadway's box office chart. While
James Cameron's film continues to break records, its Tony-winning counterpart (which
opened nine months before the movie) has quietly and steadily gained momentum, thanks to
the country's all-things-Titanic mania. And like the movie, the musical is getting its
share of swooning teens. "We've been drawing younger crowds lately," says Titanic
producer Michael David. Indeed, at a recent matinee, nearly a quarter of the seats were
filled by the Dawson's Creek set. "They must have bussed in an entire school,"
said an older audience member.
The musical's $8 million advance and $40 million gross profit may seem a small drop in the Atlantic waters compared with the film's $1 billion--and rising-- worldwide take, but the show offers entertainment that not even Cameron thought of : In the movie says musical cast member Michael Cerveris, "they don't sing when the ship goes down."
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