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Gains keep B’Way grosses ahead of ’99 pace

'Saigon,' 'Swing,' 'Annie,' 'Footloose' help push overall B.O.

Broadway B.O. not only improved $691,582 over the previous week — a 4.7% jump — but remains well above 1999’s performance. Last week’s $15,138,273 compares with 1999’s $13,127,815 for Week 51. Attendance then was 261,532, as opposed to 277,306 in 2000.

More good news: Of the 35 shows now running, all but six increased their take.

“Swing!” enjoyed the fruits of its Tony nomination for best musical, with a $80,452 bump that translated into a $461,923 total on a gross potential of $782,586. However, biggest gain came from “Miss Saigon,” which posted a closing notice far into the future (Dec. 31) and had an extra $93,832 to show for it.

Other sizable upticks came from “Annie Get Your Gun” (up $66,553), “Footloose” ($77,675) and “Rent” ($67,888).

Newcomers “The Music Man” and “Dirty Blonde” slowed a little after the previous week’s huge leaps but continued to kick up more coin: The Meredith Willson tuner found another $28,248 for a final $532,781 on a gross potential of $732,133. It performed at 81.37% capacity. The Mae West bioplay, playing to 91.77% capacity, cranked up $13,729 to close at $204,934. Gross potential is $279,775.

“The Lion King” sold out, as usual, while a few others came very close: “Aida” (98.62% capacity), “Cats” (98.06%), “Contact” (98.04%), “Kiss Me, Kate” (95.31%) and “True West” (95.98%).

“The Wild Party” bucked the positive trend for shows with several Tony noms, dipping $6,150 to end with $285,403 on a gross potential of $588,499. It performed at 53.02% capacity.

“Taller Than a Dwarf” took the week’s biggest hit, falling $59,311 to land at $186,398. Its 48.41% capacity was not the lowest on Broadway. “The Green Bird” performed at 38.28% cap, and closed the week at $173,392, down $4,765.

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