'Annie,' 'Chicago,' 'Riverdance' show huge gains

Presidents Day weekend sent nearly all of the 25 shows on Broadway soaring, with B.O. up $1,666,019 — or 16.6% — over the previous session. The grand tally came in at $11,688,124, which is a big improvement over last year, when the holiday-week total hovered at just over $10 million.

Reba McEntire pushed “Annie Get Your Gun” to within shooting distance of its $790,214 gross potential. The tuner rose $151,060 to close at $706,026. Surprisingly, the show’s spectacular gain was overshadowed by the $162,758 uptick produced by “Chicago,” which enjoyed a total of $618,516.

Other six-figure jumps were registered by “Aida” (up $119,057), “Beauty and the Beast” (a $145,569 rise), “Les Miserables” (a $110,157 jump), “The Phantom of the Opera” (a $136,296 leap) and “Riverdance” (up $148,624).

Several shows flirted with 100% capacity, including “Aida” (96.52%), “Beauty and the Beast” (96.07%), “Cabaret” (96.03%) and “The Rocky Horror Show” (96.66%). But again, the only one to sell out remained “The Lion King,” at 101.19% despite a drop of $19,344 from the previous session.

Too much for the tourist trade, “Proof” also fell, down $20,341. Its $273,249 total represented its lowest week to date for regular performances. Meanwhile, those other new plays, “The Dinner Party” and “The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife,” moved upwards $46,552 and $40,797, respectively.

With David Shiner back in the hat, “Seussical” unsurprisingly took a hit of $193,345, which returned the show to its pre-Rosie O’Donnell days of $424,695 on a gross potential of $755,427. The TV talkshow hostess has promised her tube audience that she will star again in April. “Jane Eyre” continues to edge up, rising $42,693 to close at $322,196. Its gross potential of $595,549 continues to loom, however, as its capacity remains at 70.36%, Broadway’s lowest for a musical.

Newcomers “Design for Living” and “Judgment at Nuremberg” added to the till, their first week of previews bringing in $96,779 and $135,224, respectively.

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