B.O. takes an out-of-season 6.7% jump

Broadway defied any recession news as B.O. jumped $849,136 — a 6.7% rise over the previous session — for a spring-like total tally of $13,361,120. Those figures are about a half million dollars higher than last July’s record-breaking numbers.

“Follies” was replaced by “If You Ever Leave Me, I’m Going With You!,” keeping the number of Broadway shows at 28. The Renee Taylor/Joe Bologna comedy grossed $119,043 for eight previews, with its gross potential looming at $434,440.

Elsewhere, only three shows saw their box office fall, all of them minor declines: “Blast!” (down $2,866), “Stones in His Pockets” (down $3,581) and “The Producers” (down $612), which sold out and continued to remain box office champ with $1,064,153.

“The Lion King” and “42nd Street” also did 100% capacity, with the latter show doing its best numbers to date: $896,065 on a gross potential of $1,009,892.

‘Riverdance’ leaps

“Riverdance” saw the biggest jump in biz, up $94,084. Tom Selleck’s second week of regular perfs in “A Thousand Clowns” soared $55,099 for a final $249,598 on its $546,521 gross potential.

Plays managed to hold up well in the summer heat.

“Proof” and “The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife” marked time with small four-figure bumps. Up $17,623, “The Dinner Party” with Jon Lovitz and Larry Miller reversed its downward trajectory, grossing $203,822. The Roundabout’s “Major Barbara” drummed up an additional $41,010, finishing with $259,443. In its penultimate session, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” had one of its better weeks, up $10,241 to close with $363,773. The average ticket price for the Steppenwolf show came to $48.04, just behind the $51.35 for “Major Barbara” and the $57.49 for “Proof,” which continued to be the top-grossing play on Broadway. The Pulitzer Prize-winner grossed $394,806.

Tube stars

Luke Perry’s late-June entry into “The Rocky Horror Show” had been producing small four-figure upticks. Last week, he finally showed his stuff with a heftier $37,180 increase that brought the final cume to $283,204.

In further TV-star news, Eric McCormack in “The Music Man” and Crystal Bernard in “Annie Get Your Gun” continued to raise the temperature. McCormack’s show rose $44,721 to close with $582,689, while Bernard’s stint shot up $25,894 for a final $482,087. Bernard is no Reba McEntire, but her numbers are a definite improvement on Cheryl Ladd’s.

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