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Mirvish beats its own sales and attendance records for holiday season

Stuart Ward and Dani de Waal from the Once Tour Company.

Joan Marcus

Apparently, all Ontarians wanted for Christmas was musical theatre, as audience demand helped break records at theatres across the province over the holidays.

In Toronto, Mirvish Productions announced that it had beaten its own sales and attendance records for the three-week holiday period with the help of four musicals. Once, Aladdin, Les Miserables and Fringe hit The Musical of Musicals, The Musical! grossed over $13.5-million and played to more than 150,000 audience members from Dec. 16 to Jan. 5, according to the commercial producers.

Mirvish's previous record for the same three-week period was $8.8-million in sales and 119,000 in attendance in December, 2003 when The Lion King, Mamma Mia! and The Producers were all in town at once. (Even adjusting for the extra show and inflation, the recent numbers were higher.)

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Meanwhile, in Ottawa, The Sound of Music became the best-selling show of any kind in the not-for-profit National Arts Centre's history. Director Joey Tremblay's production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic, which closed on Jan. 4, sold 25,259 tickets over the course of its extended run. The NAC's previous attendance record – 22,743 – was held by a 2001 visit by The National Ballet of Canada with The Nutcracker.

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Theatre critic

J. Kelly Nestruck is The Globe's theatre critic. More


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