Once, the Tony winning Broadway musical and Irish import, has recouped its $5.5 million capitalization costs on Broadway in less than six months, the producers announced on Monday.
That enviable milestone makes it one of the few shows to turn a profit over the same period and doing so faster than most.
According to the New York Times the musical’s box office success, which has been grossing more than $1 million a week since mid-June, is unusual given that the show is unlike most other Broadway hits.
A low-key and intimate tale of lost love, starring mostly new to Broadway actors and featuring minimal sets and non-traditional choreography, it's a million miles away from the flashier entertainments lighting up the marquees.
Once is based on the Oscar winning indie Irish film of the same name and it has enjoyed strong reviews from critics, eventually winning eight Tonys – including best musical and best actor – in June.
According to the Times only about 30 percent of shows ever turn a profit on Broadway, and most need a year or more to do so. There are exceptions, of course. The biggest moneymakers in recent years 'The Book of Mormon' recouped its $11.4 million capitalization in just nine months.
The producers statement said the pace of the recoup was faster than any other new musical in more than a decade. Advance ticket sales for 'Once' are reportedly 'very healthy,' although a show spokesman declined to provide a figure.
The shows two breakout stars Steve Kazee (who won the 2012 Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical Tony) and Cristin Milioti are on contract to stay with Once until at least March 2013.
The book for the show was written by Irish playwright Enda Walsh who also won the 2012 Tony for Best Book of a Musical.