Local and Industry News

Broadway set new records over Thanksgiving week.

Hamilton beat its previous record by earning $3.4 million during the week. Other records broken were Hello Dolly with $2.4 million and The Lion King with $2.6 million in earnings.

A study by scientists including Jane Flynn at George Mason University found that singing can help stave off Alzheimer's. The four-month study of elderly residents at a care home found that those with moderate to severe dementia saw the most improvement from 50-minute singing sessions.

The Broadway League has filed a lawsuit against casting offices, accusing them of forming an illegal cartel. Casting directors have been seeking for more than a year to be represented by the Teamsters as producers have argued that they are independent contractors and not employees. The lawsuit claims that casting companies have conspired to charge a 29 percent surcharge on all fees.

Jorge Perez claims that Miami-Dade County is punishing the Perez Art Museum Miami for presenting an exhibition which includes works by artists still living in Cuba. County commissioners had promised the museum a $4 million grant but recently voted to rescind $550,000 of the grant and give it instead to the American Museum of the Cuban Diaspora.


Walt Disney Company has reached an agreement to buy most of 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion. The agreement is subject to regulatory approval, and would not include Fox News, the Fox broadcast network, or the FS1 sports cable channel. If the sale is approved, Disney would also combine its 30 percent stake in Hulu with Fox's, resulting in Disney owning a majority control.


The Jacksonville Symphony has extended the contract of music director Courtney Lewis another three years, through the 2020-21 season. Lewis was originally hired in May 2014.

Musicians of the Pasadena Symphony, represented by AFM Local 47, have voted to authorize a strike. Musicians have been in contract negotiations for over two years, and have rejected management's last offer of less than 15 percent in wage increases over five contract years.

The Cleveland Orchestra's deficit has risen 75 percent, to $4.2 million this year. The factors contributing to the deficit included a decline in Annual Fund giving, a drop in special fundraising, and a large loss in support of the Orchestra's Miami Residency. The Orchestra's endowment, on the other hand, has risen to a record high $192.2 million.

The Columbus Symphony has received $8 million from the estate of Anne Melvin. The gift is the Symphony's largest single donation, and will be added to the orchestra's endowment fund.

Live music is returning to the Orlando Ballet. Ballet revenue has exceeded projections, enabling them to engage The Orlando Philharmonic and the Central Florida Community Arts Orchestra for one production each this season.

Under the direction of new president and CEO Deborah Borda, the New York Philharmonic has raised $50 million. The speed of the donations is a sign of support for Borda and the orchestra's next music director, Jaap van Zweden.

The Florida Orchestra's 50th anniversary gala was sold out and raised a record $1.5 million for the orchestra. More than 2,000 patrons attended the performance featuring Sting.