B.O. Down Again; ‘Bete,’ Bone,’ ‘Steps’ Preview

Business on Broadway continued its downbeat groove during week 35 (Jan. 28 to Feb. 3), with receipts for the 17 shows dipping 6.5% from the previous week.

Receipts totaled $3,676,213, and attendance slipped 3.8% to 105,495.

The roster included three previewing productions, one of which – “Taking Steps” at the Circle In The Square Theater – played only four performances. The heavily-papered “La Bete” had an actual paid attendance of only 33.8%, accounting for the small $52,914 net. Third previewer was “Mule Bone, ” chasing a $253,281 carrot but chomping only $72,925.

In all, 11 shows were down, two of the previewers reported first-week figures and four productions bucked the overall trend by taking steps upward. Two of the shows in the latter category – “Jackie Mason: Brand New” and “Mule Bone” – owe their rises to more performances than they had the previous week. “The Phantom Of The Opera” managed a better net despite slipping, for the first time in memory, in attendance. The show remained a sellout.

“Buddy” rebounded a bit from the previous week’s less-than-rockin’ take, rounding out the list of improvers jumping to $219,798. The figure remains considerably below potential.

“Six Degrees Of Separation” continued its powerful run, with paid attendance at 95.3% of capacity. Besides “Six Degrees” and “Phantom,” the only show to break 80% was “City Of Angels,” winging it at 81.6%. “Aspects Of Love” stayed below the halfway mark.

Receipts for the musicals totaled $2,889,815, or 79% of the Broadway total. Attendance at the tuners was 70,778 for a wilted 68.6% of musical capacity. Taking the remaining 21% of the roster’s total net, plays brought in $786,398. Play attendance was 34,717, or 69.9% of play capacity. The average price per ticket was $34.84 for all shows, $40.82 for musicals and $22.65 for plays.

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