Xmas cuts into coffers

'Together' comes apart; 'Kate' looks kissable

NEW YORK — Santa snubbed Broadway. Thirty-two shows generated $11,459,592, vs. the $14,090,973 produced by 30 venues in 1998.

Was it the product? Or was it a mistake to close on Christmas Eve and add a performance elsewhere in the week? Or should Christmas always come on Thursday, producing a four-day weekend, as it did last year?

Three musicals dared to raise their ticket price this holiday week, and “Putting It Together” paid the price, dropping a whopping $135,082 from the previous session, to finish at $225,389. Top ticket rose to $85, but the average went for $60.72. Gross potential rests at $475,748. The Sondheim revue, which played 49.19% capacity, did not account for Broadway’s steepest decline. With Bernadette Peters on vacation for most performances, “Annie Get Your Gun” nose-dived $187,404. And “Minnelli on Minnelli” played four perfs instead of five and dropped $137,988. Their respective closing totals were $513,675 and $420,676.

‘Lion’s’ share

“The Lion King” top ticket rose to $90, making it Broadway’s biggest winner. It jumped $146,109 to close at $1,060,162.

“The Phantom of the Opera” also bumped up its price, to $85, and scared up another $56,181 to finish with $715,998.

A few others stuck to previous session’s prices and prospered — all of them new shows, except for “Rent,” which nudged up $10,530. “Amadeus” rose $40,067 for a $223,248. Gross potential is $411,548.

‘Kate’s’ fate great

“Kiss Me, Kate” looks good for the long haul, kicking up another $71,129. Its final tally of $702,945 flirts with its $771,039 gross potential. The only show to play Christmas Eve, “Jackie Mason,” had no problem defying the holiday. Still in previews, it rose $9,212, played 97.43% capacity and missed the $179,816 gross-potential target by just $5,402.

Two other new shows didn’t fare as well. “Swing!” stumbled $75,741, and “Waiting in the Wings” got clipped by $80,434. Their respective total receipts were $304,229 and $243,125.

Only a Scrooge would point out that some shows played well under cap this holiday week. They were “It Ain’t Nothing But the Blues” (23.08%), “The Price” (33.52%), “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” (26.70%), “The Scarlet Pimpernel” (34.44%) and “Tango Argentino” (27.47%).

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