Columbus Day no discovery for B’way

Paid attendance down 30,000 ticket buyers from a year ago

Broadway will have to wait for Thanksgiving to reap a holiday bonanza. The Columbus Day weekend discovered no new territory, falling well below last year’s record of $14.56 million for 28 shows.

Last week’s $13,564,116 for 25 shows — up 13.66% or $1,630,147 from the previous session — did manage to top the $11.95 million produced by 26 shows in 2000.

Paid attendance this time around came to 198,962, which represented a decrease of 30,000 ticket buyers from a year ago.

Maybe the late-arriving Yom Kippur cut into biz early in the week. Certainly “Gypsy” ($681,333), which put in a Monday night perf, dropped to the No. 10 spot, its lowest level with Bernadette Peters performing. The star had been out on vacation the previous session, her return creating a $330,201 jump at the box office — big, but not big enough to overtake the resurgence of “Thoroughly Modern Millie” ($689,387), which returns to the top 10 with Delta Burke now on board.

Although “Chicago” ($631,284) no longer resides on the big list, the departure of Melanie Griffith produced a mere $4,181 downtick as Charlotte d’Amboise went back into the Roxie Hart role.

‘Nine’ inches along sans Banderas

Across West 49th Street, the absence of Antonio Banderas created somewhat more B.O. havoc at “Nine” ($566,463), which easily took the prize for the week’s steepest plummet, its box office off $207,063. John Stamos is the new Guido, with Sara Gettelfinger instead of the previously announced Jenna Elfman the new Carla.

Elsewhere under the top 10, there was nothing but improvements to report. Some leaps measured less than $50,000: “Avenue Q” ($363,238), “Cabaret” ($386,551), “Take Me Out” ($254,070) and “Urinetown” ($247,513).

And some shows jumped more than $50,000: “Beauty and the Beast” ($598,505), “Little Shop of Horrors” ($419,730), “Phantom of the Opera” ($594,110) and “Rent” ($345,940).

News from the rialto now centers on the half dozen shows in previews.

‘Cat’ on a hot B.O. roof

And speaking of hot: Ashley Judd, Jason Patric and Ned Beatty sent Tennessee Williams’ “Cat” ($334,495) through the roof of the Music Box for only five previews. The play’s average price ticket of $76.54 puts it in musical-comedy territory. That APT is currently the seventh highest on Broadway, pushing total receipts to within $44,000 of gross potential.

Capacity for the first six previews of “Wicked” ($662,666) came to 98.9% with no TKTS sales in sight. Next week the new tuner goes to eight perfs and leaves its No. 11 slot on the current B.O. chart to some other lucky show.

And while we’re on the subject of Dorothy, “The Boy From Oz” ($703,214) put in its best week to date for seven previews. The Hugh Jackman starrer opens Thursday.

Both “Golda’s Balcony” ($254,095) and “The Retreat From Moscow” ($256,162) increased their preview skeds from four to eight perfs last week, which made for respective B.O. surges of $150,430 and $116,140.

Back on earth, “Six Dances Lessons in Six Weeks” ($121,935) put in its first eight previews.

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