As in past, B’way B.O. drops some

Nonmusicals tend to rebound from Thanksgiving

Thirty-one Broadway shows brought in $15,696,849, down $1,668,141 from the previous holiday week. Coming off the Thanksgiving bonanza, the 9.61% drop is only one or two percentage points more than normal. But the overall $15.69 million is nearly $2 million under levels set in 2003 and 2002 for this time frame. Last week’s paid attendance of 232,388 compares unfavorably with last year’s 247,483 and 2002’s 267,925.

Nonmusicals tend to rebound from the Thanksgiving holiday, and last week saw several upticks for dramas and one-person shows. The two exceptions were “Golda’s Balcony” ($114,320), which fell $4,124, and “Twelve Angry Men” ($322,109), which dropped $18,968.

Otherwise, the winter hasn’t yet arrived for “Democracy” ($428,983), up $804; “Dame Edna” ($406,821), up $24,082; “Laugh Whore” ($167,767), up $29,170; ” ‘night, Mother” ($185,344), up $31,906; “Reckless” ($270,168), up $10,691; “Whoopi” ($263,743), up $36,774; and “The Good Body” ($114,778), up $37,826 or 49.2%, which was the week’s highest uptick in terms of percentage.

Added previews helped to grow the grosses at “La Cage aux Folles” ($619,087), “The Rivals” ($315,004), “Gem of the Ocean” ($220,138) and “700 Sundays” ($618,589), which shrugged off the usual preem-comp blahs. Billy Crystal’s show opened Sunday.

Those pesky comps could be blamed for the $58,692 slide at “Pacific Overtures” ($270,234), which grossed about $30,000 less than Sondheim & Weidman’s last revival, “Assassins,” did during preem week at Studio 54 earlier this year.

Before getting to the usual bad news of early December, Brooke Shields can be congratulated for pushing “Wonderful Town” ($598,371) to its highest nonholiday gross to date. The revival withstood a middling decrease last week, down $55,662.

“Dracula” ($256,207) got hit with a similar $54,365 dip, but it has less room for slippage. The new musical played to only 53.3% capacity, the lowest on Broadway for a tuner.

Under the top 10, “The Phantom of the Opera” ($604,872), “Fiddler on the Roof” ($540,870) and “Bombay Dreams” ($486,581) each took a big six-figure tumble, while “Rent” ($355,916) fell $93,395.

In comparison, “Chicago” ($573,492), “Avenue Q” ($512,712) and “Brooklyn” ($353,338) barely budged, with the Kander & Ebb off the most, down $19,271.

The new kid, “Brooklyn,” dropped only $13,351. Playing to 71.6% capacity, it doesn’t have the healthiest numbers, but going into the winter months the show looks likely to defy producers waiting for a theater to vacate. Regardless, the stop-clause watch is on!

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