White Way sees green despite dips

Hugh Jackman took a vacation, three shows started previews, and nearly everybody else saw a dip at the Broadway box office last week.

Thirty shows brought in a record-setting $15,195,049, a slight improvement on the $15.12 million that 34 productions produced two years ago this time frame and a slight 2.88% decrease (or minus $451,070) from the previous week’s total receipts. Paid attendance came to 232,751, down from 278,962 that 36 shows saw in early April 2000.

Only six shows managed upticks last week: “Barbara Cook’s Broadway” ($127,743); “King Lear” ($329,868); “Twentieth Century” ($277,359); “Wicked” ($1,101,014), which had its highest-grossing nonholiday session to date; “Sly Fox” ($389,321), which put in nine perfs; and “The Producers” ($1,412,170), which saw Nathan and Matthew calling it quits for a second time. Those premium tickets pushed the show nearly $400,000 above its gross potential.

In previews, “Bombay Dreams” ($562,994) did seven perfs and missed making the top 10 by just $7,000.

Broadway could have a new star in Sean Combs. “A Raisin in the Sun” ($324,919) did nicely in its first eight previews, even if Richard Dreyfuss in “Sly Fox” and Ashley Judd in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” brought in slightly higher numbers in their first full week of previews.

Doing its first six previews, “Assassins” ($281,856) rounded out the brand-new shows on the block.

Other shows in previews saw minor declines, with “Match” ($199,161) and “Sixteen Wounded” ($88,388) each off by four figures.

Six-figure drops afflicted “Fiddler on the Roof” ($663,285), “42nd Street” ($569,384) and “The Phantom of the Opera” ($555,043). More critical were the respective and nearly identical drops of $91,590 and $91,758 at “Gypsy” ($482,711) and “Wonderful Town” ($455,902).

Other decreases for tuners under the top 10 were less sizable: “Avenue Q” ($390,898), “Chicago” ($521,168), “Little Shop of Horrors” ($428,762), “Rent” ($326,112) and “Thoroughly Modern Millie” ($494,239).

In its final week, “Drowning Crow” ($159,072) slipped $18,530 while “Golda’s Balcony” ($121,667) lost a bigger chunk, off $29,413.

Pulitzer Prize to the rescue: “I Am My Own Wife” ($121,676) took the bigger hit, down $40,210.

‘Big River’ tour

The Deaf West Theater production of “Big River” begins a 12-month tour at San Francisco’s Curran Theater on June 11.

Jeff Calhoun returns to direct the tour starring Tyrone Giordano, Daniel Jenkins and Michael McElroy. The musical revival previously played the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles and on Broadway under the auspices of Roundabout.

The tour is presented by Atlanta’s Theater of the Stars in association with Dallas Summer Musicals, Houston’s Theater of the Stars and Boston’s Wang Center for the Performing Arts.

Post-San Francisco, subsequent bookings are for Houston, Dallas and Atlanta prior to the show’s Asian premiere in Tokyo’s Aoyama Theater this fall. Tour is booked through June 2005, including engagements in Green Bay, Wis.; Boston; Philadelphia; Tucson, Ariz.; Los Angeles; Sacramento; Columbus, Ohio; Wilmington, Del; New Haven, Conn.; Hershey, Penn.; and an extended run in Washington, D.C.

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