Bway today: White middle-aged women fill the seats

The family-friendly “Cinderella,” with Laura Osnes, helped reduce the average age of the Broadway theater-goer this year.

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

The family-friendly “Cinderella,” with Laura Osnes, helped reduce the average age of the Broadway theater-goer this year.

The person sitting next to you at a Broadway show is most apt to be white, female and from out-of-town.

Demographic stats released on Thursday by the Broadway League, a trade association, show that the Great White Way lives up to its monochromatic moniker: Last year, 78% of all tickets were bought by Caucasians.

Other stats show a continued hunger for “Beaches: The Musical”:

— Women accounted for 68% of audiences.

— Tourists accounted for 66% of all Broadway tickets, up from 63% the previous season. International tourists made up 23% of sales, a record high.

— Suburbanites accounted for another 17% of ticket buyers.

Tourists love such Broadway fare as “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” with Cory Michael Smith and Emilia Clarke.

Nathan Johnson Photography

Tourists love such Broadway fare as “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” with Cory Michael Smith and Emilia Clarke.

In positive news from a long-term perspective, the average age of a Broadway theatergoer dropped a full year, to 42.5 years old.

This season attracted the highest percentage of show-gazers ages 18-24, who amounted to 14% of the ticketholders.

And attendance by Hispanics rose significantly to 7.6%, up 2% from from two years ago.

“We will continue our efforts to diversify the audience with programs like Viva Broadway,” said Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of The Broadway League.

And referring to younger audience members, St. Martin added, “We are hopeful that these young adults will continue to attend theater as they age and introduce the theatergoing tradition to their own families.”

In all, 41% of tickets were purchased online — so maybe the kids have caught the theater bug.

The demographics are based on ticket-buyer surveys done during the Broadway 2012-13 season.


Music & Arts – NY Daily News

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