LOOSE PANTIES = BOFFO BOX
A play about a young woman’s falling underwear helped arouse record interest in the Two River Theater in the season just ended.
Bootstrapped by ‘The Underpants,’ comedian Steve Martin’s racy farce, as well as receipts from the musical ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’,’ the Bridge Avenue theater company posted its strongest returns ever, both in both seats sold and revenue, the TRTC reported.
Attendance for the season’s plays soared 31 percent, from 23,242 in the 2006 season to 30,463 this year, said theater spokeswoman Jayme Powers.
Revenue from ticket sales, meanwhile, was $747,817 this season, a jump of almost $200,000.
Every time we think it cant get any better, this community surprises us by buying more tickets and supporting our work more deeply,” TRTC board president Ann Unterberg said in a prepared statement.
What explains the surge? “We had a musical and a really popular comedy,” Powers said. “Any theater company will tell you musicals and comedies are the way to go.”
‘Underpants’ and ‘Misbehavin’ rank numbers 1 and 2, respectively, among all the shows presented in the 13-year history of the company, Powers said.
Now, of course, the company has set a new bar for itself, which it will try to leap in the 2007-’08 season that begins Sept. 11 with Thornton Wilder’s classic ‘Our Town,’ directed by Aaron Posner and featuring puppets designed by Aaron Cromie.
Also in the lineup is Tennessee Williams’ ‘The Glass Menagerie,’ directed by TRTC co-founder Robert Rechnitz. But the season’s high-water mark is widely expected to be set by William Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth,’ as reimagined by the comic magician Teller (yeah, the guy who never talks, from Penn & Teller), who’s co-directing with Posner.
Meantime, for those who were wondering, here are the TRTC’s all-time top-five revenue generators:
‘The Underpants’ (2006-’07 season)
‘Ain’t Misbehavin’ (’06-’07)
‘You Cant Take It with You’ (’04-’05)
‘Umbrellas of Cherbourg’ (’05-’06)
‘What the Butler Saw (’05-’06)