Broadway in New York is the epicenter of the world’s theatrical productions, especially lavish musicals. And many tourists that travel to the Big Apple make sure they take in at least one Broadway production during their visit. Seeing at least one Broadway musical in your life is on many people’s bucket list, whether you are a theater buff or just somebody that wants to satisfy a long-held desire. A Broadway musical has absolutely everything, superb music and dance, costumes to die for, and productions that will take you to another world. The ebullient feelings that you get when you exit the theater cannot be beaten, and you are almost dancing on a cloud. But how much do these lavish productions cost? We feature the most expensive ever in the list below.
The number one most expensive Broadway musical production to date is Turn Off the Dark, and at $79 million dollars this Spiderman extravaganza is head and shoulders above any other production in terms of cost. Basically, Marvel’s superhero was the lead in a rock musical, that had the full backing of Bono the famous singer from mega band U2. During the making of this production the budget kept on creeping up and up to an astronomical $79 million. The production flopped and all of the investors lost their money. When the production finally closed there was a dramatic loss of $60 million.
Shrek the Musical
Our second production that tops the money list is Shrek the Musical, and everybody’s most favorite green monster hit the Broadway stage. This production opened in December 2008, and it had a massive budget of $27.6 million. Although Shrek the Musical was highly anticipated the audiences and critics did not take to the production whatsoever, the feeling was the theater production did not replicate the magic of the film version. The production lasted for less than a year as audience numbers continued to wane. Big losses were incurred in this failed production and in an effort to recoup some of the money it has become a touring production.
Completing the top three of the most expensive Broadway musicals is The Lion King. The budget for the production was a colossal $27.5 million which produced some of the most elaborate sets ever seen on Broadway. No expense was spared on the costumes and together with a kick-ass musical score it looked as though all the necessary components were in place for a sure fired hit. And it was all worthwhile, the producers had come up with a formula that converted one of the biggest grossing films of all time to the Broadway stage. So much so that the Lion King became the highest grossing musical on Broadway of all time. It even upstaged the Phantom of the Opera which was simply amazing. For investors the news was good as this Broadway musical returned $1 billion, and it has not stopped yet as the production is now in its seventeenth year and still going strong.