Labor Day weekend saps attendance

The Labor Day weekend was not kind to Broadway, as the backyard and the grill won out over Sardi’s and the tuners. Broadway grosses were down substantially, dropping $1,229,962, to earn an overall take of $8,205,496.

The week’s biggest gainer was soon-to-be retooled tuner, “The Scarlet Pimpernel,” upping its take by $35,249 to gross $339,991. The few shows that could say they gained anything at all in this bleak week included:

  • “Saturday Night Live” newsman Colin Quinn’s “Colin Quinn: An Irish Wake,” was up a middling $13,417 to take $57,114.

  • The veteran tuner “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” enjoyed a modest increase, upping its take to $268,052.

  • Irish hit “The Beauty Queen of Leenane” improved its take by $20,564 to secure $258,082 in grosses.

Hardest hit last week was Yasmina Reza’s “Art,” which has just undergone a cast transplant with the London production. Through a deal between American Equity and British Equity, Brian Cox, Henry Goodman and David Haig replaced Alfred Molina, Victor Garber and Alan Alda on Sept. 1, and the initial results have not been encouraging: “Art” fell $105,051 to take $318,670.

Also taking a substantial dive was “The Phantom of the Opera,” plunging $79,775 to take $558,481, as suburbanites stayed home in droves.

Other big tuners suffered similar fates. “Les Miserables” fell $47,208 to gross $427,771, and “Jekyll and Hyde” fell $42,253 to bring home $369,866. “Titanic” dipped $26,809 to gross $398,225, and “The Sound of Music” pitched downward by $26,470 to take $432,892.

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