‘Best’ leads B’way uptick

Other big comebacks from 'Music,' 'Kate'

Broadway continued its post-Labor Day recovery, with over half of the B.O. bump coming from “Gore Vidal’s ‘The Best Man.’ ” Thirteen of the shows now running improved, registering a total increase of $148,983 — or 1.4% — to bring the final cume to $10,190,711. A year ago that figure stood at a much less enthusiastic $8,524,338 for 23 shows.

“The Best Man” enjoyed a $79,926 jump at the ballot box in its first full week of regular perfs. The Vidal politico drama closed at $423,214 on a gross potential of $628,187, with its average ticket price set at $44.87, the lowest on Broadway thanks to some post-opening night comps. It performed at 93.6% capacity.

Other five-figure improvements came from “The Music Man” (up $34,353), “Kiss Me, Kate” (up $33,499), “Chicago” (up $27,289), and “The Man Who Came to Dinner” (up $20,418), which played 94.80% capacity and cooked up its best week to date: $288,460 on a gross potential of $349,943. Only three shows did better in the cap department. They were “Aida” (97.51%), “Contact” (99.54%) and the always sold-out “Lion King” (101.22%).

Most shows that slumped at the box office last week kept their declines to modest three or four figures. The exceptions were “The Phantom of the Opera” (down $26,867) and “Swing!” (down $14,865).

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