Knight's guest-star stint helps 'Cafe'

With “Closer” closed, Broadway last week dipped $474,413 to $9,716,422. The loss of one show wasn’t the only sobering factor: Most of the 22 productions lost ground, with only six of them gaining.

“Peter Pan” was one of the few winners, thanks to last week being its closing. Barrie’s boy ended his Cathy Rigby run at $572,314, up $45,360 from the previous frame. “The Weir,” “The Lion King” and “It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues” edged up slightly, with “Blues” now taking two weeks off to transfer from the Beaumont to the Ambassador for a Sept. 9 opening. That suspension — and the petering of “Pan” — won’t help next week’s numbers.

‘Cafe’ smokin’

“Smokey Joe’s Cafe” had the biggest caffeine jolt, thanks to Gladys Knight’s guest-star stint, zooming $45,592 over the previous outing.

Newcomer “Kit and the Kings” also improved royally by jumping $35,451, but with a total of $165,374 still playing at only 33% of potential. “Voices in the Dark,” that other August opener, dropped $9,556 to $127,556, which is 34% of potential.

Big titles slipping

Once again, some of the biggest musicals gave up the most. Contributing mightily to Broadway’s penultimate pre-Labor Day yawn were “Cats,” slipping to $406,732 after losing $58,022 from the previous week. “Rent” came due at $425,628, down $55,951. “Phantom” got spooked at $672,356, missing $54,607. And “Ragtime” sang $524,317, off-key by $53,373.

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