“Plaza Suite,” Neil Simon’s revival that stars Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick, has been a box office juggernaut since its debut last spring. The show became the third highest-grossing play revival in Broadway history, grossing $26.4 million in ticket sales last weekend. This ranks just behind the 2014 revival of “It’s Only a Play”, which grossed $34.3 million, as well as the 2005 revival of “The Odd Couple” with its $28.9 million gross. Broderick was featured on both of these shows as well, making him a favorite ingredient for investors when it comes to reviving coins. “Plaza Suite” is expected to end its run in the $28 million range.
The show was originally scheduled to open in spring 2020, but was delayed after the live theater was shut down by COVID. “Plaza Suite” focuses on three different stories involving three very different couples, all played by real-life married couple Broderick and Parker. All vignettes take place in the same luxury hotel suite.
“Its success is attributed to Neil Simon, Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker,” explains John Benjamin Hickey, the show’s director. “The play is a wonderful marathon for two great actors to reach such heights. It’s so much fun watching them play six different characters and they had so much fun doing it.
The show, which performed at the Hudson Theater, broke several house records, setting new benchmarks for single performance ticket sales and weekly revenue. The box office success of “Plaza Suite” is also notable because the show failed to rave reviews and was kicked out of the Tony Awards, earning only one nomination for its costumes. Hickey doesn’t seem too bothered by the lack of attention to rewards.
“I’m so proud to be on a show that New Yorkers and the rest of the country are all looking forward to seeing,” Hickey said. “A lot of people risked contracting COVID and spent a lot of money to come see this show and I’m deeply grateful to them.”
And that might not have happened if Parker and Broderick hadn’t told their reps to keep their schedules clear so they could return to the show if and when Broadway reopens. This meant that 270 arts workers, including costumers, carpenters, set builders, guards and ushers, could all collect a paycheck.
“Plaza Suite” ends its run on July 10, but Hickey hinted that Parker and Broderick might not be ready to go for good. Could the show go on tour or play a special performance somewhere?
“From your lips to anyone’s ears can make it happen,” says Hickey. “Maybe there have been hopes and dreams and even a bit of planning to that effect. I can’t speak for anyone, but I know how much Matthew and Sarah loved doing this, and I think they would like it to continue in some way. They could both enjoy a nice long weekend, but I think they’re both reluctant to say goodbye to him.