B’way takes a slide

No show sells out; 'Gypsy' lone bright spot

Broadway B.O. continued to fall last week, with the overall tally dropping $216,383, or 1.72%. Dip doesn’t appear momentous until one adds in this little statistic: Three shows started previews.

Thirty productions last week brought in $12,355,564, which compares unfavorably with the $15.12 million produced a year ago during equally troubled times. No show sold out, and that includes “Hairspray,” which managed 98.3% capacity. Only five productions last week saw improvement, none of them spectacular.

“Beauty and the Beast” ($467,991) and “Chicago” ($529,448) squeaked out four-figure upticks. Modest five-figure increases graced the tallies for “Life (x) 3” ($289,195), “The Play What I Wrote” ($196,204) and “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” ($213,808) in its final week.

Elsewhere, there was some serious erosion. Taking the biggest hit of the week, “Rent” ($235,249) slipped $108,175, losing about one-third its previous week’s gross. “Urinetown” ($198,282) dropped into the crapper with its $90,301 plummet. “42nd Street” ($520,801) fell $83,053 and slipped off the top 10 chart for the first time in its two-year run.

A few shows managed only slightly less sizable dips: “Aida” ($454,228), “Cabaret” ($299,253), “Movin’ Out” ($535,578), “The Phantom of the Opera” ($459,112) and “Man of La Mancha” ($363,110), which fell $64,958 to put in its lowest-grossing session to date.

Off $3,517, “Urban Cowboy” ($155,788) failed to improve on its heavily comped opening week. There were also minor downticks at the B.O. challenged “Say Goodnight Gracie” ($91,892), “Take Me Out” ($159,276) and “Vincent in Brixton” ($177,383).

“Joe Egg” ($201,847) fell $9,556, thanks to all those opening-week press comps. Its final tally, however, compares favorably with the Roundabout’s spring 2002 offering “The Man Who Had All the Luck,” which grossed about $25,000 less during its preem session.

Over in preview land, biz ran the gamut from the high-flying “Gypsy” ($602,472), which did seven perfs, to “Frog and Toad” ($88,838), which did a full eight. In between, the Burt Bacharach revue “Look of Love” ($104,336) started off with only four.

In its second full week of previews, “Nine” ($531,674 against $611,530 gross potential) continued to look robust despite a $28,400 downtick.

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