‘Beast,’ B.O. get good news

Show grants one-week delay to assess situation

A closing notice will not greet Broadway union members returning to “Beauty and the Beast.” On Monday, Disney had threatened to post the notice backstage at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater at 1:30 p.m. today.

Various unions and locals of the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees were in the process of voting on Disney’s demand that its B.O.-challenged musical be granted the same concessions as seven other Broadway musicals.

Although business remained down after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the show’s gross for the week of Sept. 24-30 fell just $13,000 under its break-even figure of $450,000.

Alan Levey, the show’s general manager, released this statement on Tuesday: “At the request of IATSE and its member unions, we have agreed to delay for one week any decision regarding the future of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ in New York to allow us additional time to assess the current state of the box office and provide additional time to continue our discussions with the unions.”

Broadway rebound

At the B.O., Broadway’s 20 shows rebounded mightily from the previous week, with receipts up 14.1% despite four fewer productions running. Traditionally, total gross figures fall marginally from the third week of September (Rosh Hashanah) to the fourth week (Yom Kippur). Up $1,122,755 from the previous session, the total tally for Sept. 24-30 came to $9,056,975, which is just $900,000 shy of this week last year, when there were 22 shows on the boards.

Every show registered five- or six-figure advances, with the biggest jumps coming from “Aida” (up $164,100), “42nd Street” ($164,446) and “The Music Man” ($148,185).

At least three musicals granted labor concessions, including 25% pay cuts, may be at or close to their break-even figures for the week of Sept. 24-30: “Chicago” ($419,645), “Kiss Me, Kate” ($434,856) and “The Full Monty” ($473,892).

Other concession winners may have a longer trek to break-even, including “Les Miserables” ($305,838), “The Music Man” ($393,128), “The Phantom of the Opera” ($406,686) and “Rent” ($316,585).

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