B.O. bounce brightens B’way

'Sound of Music' leads brisk week

As the mercury rises, so does Broadway’s grosses. Last week, every show on Broadway made gains (with the exception of “Chicago,” which posted a negligible dip of $567). Overall, Broadway enjoyed a $528,347 jump in grosses over the previous week’s haul, taking $11,397,855.

Livent this week revised its gross potential for “Ragtime” based on a six-month study of the Livent-owned Ford Center’s use of salable wheelchair space. The tuner’s theater has more than 25 wheelchair positions which, if unsold, will infrequently be used as much as two or three tickets’ worth of regular space. That additional space potential, Livent asserts, made it impossible for the tuner to reach its gross potential despite selling out. The new figure furnished by Livent is a gross potential of $896,218, down from $906,755, a difference of $10,537. “Ragtime” reported a gross of $901,532 — an increase of $37,073.

The biggest gainer on the White Way this week was “The Sound of Music,” which found that the hills were alive with cash: The revival tuner took in a brisk $583,054 of a possible $738,225.

But amid Broadway’s strongest financial years ever, there are some noticeable weak spots, with some already walking off, some imminently departing.

Among the more obviously borderline cases is “Forever Tango,” the special dance show at the 1,600-seat Marquis Theater, which last week managed only 29% of its $687,843 gross potential. It’s true that the show “has a nut of 20¢” according to one Broadway insider, due to its spare sets and special company of dancers. But a source within the Nederlander Organization speculated that the new Tommy Tune-helmed and -starred tuner, “Easter Parade,” may arrive there or in the similarly Nederlander-owned Minskoff before the end of the summer.

Currently playing at the Minskoff is another limping tuner, “The Scarlet Pimpernel,” which grossed only 44% of its poten-tial, taking $367,176 of a possible $832,827. “Pimpernel” managed a negligible increase of $760 over the previous week’s $366,416 haul.

Winning a Tony for Best Revival of a Play and Best Actor wasn’t enough to revive the fading “A View From the Bridge” at the Neil Simon. Despite initially brisk wraps after the Tony kudocast, “View” will shutter when lead Anthony LaPaglia departs on July 19. Last week, it took 43% of its gross potential, grabbing $203,765 of a possible $469,066.

Also in it’s final weeks, and also grossing 43%, was “The Diary of Anne Frank” which limps to an end after a nearly eight-month run to gross $171,041 of a possible $402,861.

Another play departing is The National Actors Theatre production of “The Sunshine Boys,” which eked out 37% of its gross last week, raking in only $121,512 of a possible $327,578.

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