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Crystal rules B’way

Solo show shines at B.O.

All hail Billy Crystal, the new king of Broadway!

His “700 Sundays” took in $635,476 for six previews, pushing the one-man show into the No. 6 slot on the top 10 chart.

If he’s calling his solo stint a play, its B.O. last week rivals the best week of not only “A Raisin in the Sun” ($659,001) in its penultimate session but “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” ($686,277) in its final week. Crystal’s venue, the Broadhurst Theater, is slightly larger than where those recent revivals played, but “Journey” performed seven perfs and “Raisin” did a full eight.

Otherwise, Broadway took its usual breather right before the Thanksgiving holiday. Thirty-one shows brought in $13,888,879, down $471,995 or 3.29% from the previous session. Paid attendance came to 213,014. Those numbers are a little below what Broadway did two years ago, but way off from 2003 for this time frame. Back then, total receipts came to $15.1 million, with approximately 20,000 more tix sold.

Gains at the box office were limited to a handful of shows: “Wicked” ($1,212,075), up $15,678; “Avenue Q” ($510,312), up $29,659; and “Reckless” ($227,238), up $20,105. Also, there were marginal upticks for “Mamma Mia!” ($953,302), “Whoopi” ($189,248) and “Marc Salem’s Mind Games” ($8,978).

In previews, “Pacific Overtures” ($332,362) went from five to eight perfs and had $115,202 more to show for it. The tuner played to 85.1% capacity, taking in about $130,000 under its gross potential.

Up $126,609, “La Cage aux Folles” ($540,850) also benefited from more previews, going from five to seven perfs. It played to 86% capacity as gross potential loomed far overhead at $911,187.

While Crystal shone, one-person shows accounted for four of the bottom five grossers. In addition to “Whoopi,” they were “Mario Cantone: Laugh Whore” ($157,230), “Golda’s Balcony” ($106,634) and “The Good Body” ($103,095), all of which suffered tiny declines in receipts. Stuck in the middle of such middling grosses was “Forever Tango” ($145,072), which fell $1,582.

“Dame Edna: Back With a Vengeance” ($283,200) did somewhat better, but it took a $32,874 hit due to press comps. It opened Nov. 21.

Freebies took a smaller slice out of “Democracy” ($356,112), which kept its decrease to $24,820. Producers for the Michael Frayn play report $210,000 in sales the day after the show’s Nov. 18 opening.

“‘Night Mother” ($192,759) did not improve coming off its preem week. The two-hander dropped $25,876 and played to only 41.2% capacity.

Since its opening in October, “Brooklyn” ($341,243) lost ground for the first time last week, slipping $72,918. Slightly less significant five-figure drops affected “Wonderful Town” ($513,695), “Chicago” ($510,828), “Fiddler on the Roof” ($441,686), “Bombay Dreams” ($400,832) and “Rent” ($306,447), which fell $63,466. “The Phantom of the Opera” ($509,049) slid somewhat more, down $92,034.

Among the plays, “Twelve Angry Men” ($323,823) marked time, its receipts off only $3,880 despite another extension of its final date, to Feb. 6.

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