In rare feat for play, ‘Raisin’ hits top 10

B'way B.O. near record of $15.7 mil

Don’t cry for “Little Shop of Horrors.” It failed to receive a Tony nomination for musical revival, but look what happened to those tuners that were cited:

“Assassins” ($336,121), down $16,371; “Fiddler on the Roof” ($613,880), down $36,394; and “Wonderful Town” ($399,360), down $4,543.

Although “Little Shop” ($271,738) didn’t gross much, at least its receipts managed to increase, up $12,272.

Overall, Broadway’s 31 shows saw their combined tally rise $480,704, or 3.17%, for a grand total of $15,634,148. That figure fell shy of 2003’s record-setting $15.7 million for this time frame.

Tony nominees in other categories did better than the musical revivals. Biggest gains came to “Avenue Q” ($388,281) and “The Boy From Oz” ($864,487), which rose $56,473 and $52,487, respectively.

Nommed for play revival, “A Raisin in the Sun” ($570,109) basks in a category all its own. Up $43,795, the Sean Combs starrer not only set another house record at the Royale, it achieved that most rare of feats for a play: It landed on the top 10 chart.

Here’s how “Raisin” stacks up to the recent past: Last week’s numbers bettered the best of Ashley Judd’s “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” by about $25,000. “Henry IV” did just under $600,000 for seven perfs during New Year’s week 2004. And “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” grossed over $650,000 every week but one in summer 2003.

Back to the present: Other Tony nominees enjoyed smaller gains than “Raisin.” “Frozen” ($118,490) and “I Am My Own Wife” ($163,471) grew $21,210 and $11,736, respectively. Meanwhile, “Jumpers” ($360,342) jumped only $1,964 on its Tony news.

“Caroline, or Change” ($408,591) looked like a gainer, but a sprinkler malfunction Friday canceled that valuable weekend perf, and its receipts fell $368. All in all, the tuner appears to be on an upward trajectory at the box office. It performed at 81.8% capacity with an average price ticket of $67.47, the 10th highest on Broadway.

There were mixed results for 2003-04 shows not nommed in the four big categories: “Sly Fox” ($333,734) and “Twentieth Century” ($297,213) managed marginal four-figure improvements. “Golda’s Balcony” ($124,384) and “Match” ($220,516) took five-figure hits. The latter show posted a May 23 close.

For the moment, “Bombay Dreams” ($791,934) ignored its Tony snub with a $25,213 increase. The London import performed at 87.6% capacity with an average ticket price of $64.14.

Under the top 10, some vintage fare continued to ripen with increased biz: “Aida” ($546,964); “Chicago” ($461,994); “42nd Street” ($553,195); and “Gypsy” ($444,462), which rose $100,179 on its way to a May 30 close.

A few seasoned shows witnessed B.O. shrinkage: “Beauty and the Beast” ($485,874); “The Phantom of the Opera” ($509,534); “Rent” ($277,926); and “Thoroughly Modern Millie” ($382,866), which posted a close for June 20.

In previews, “Slight Unseen” ($206,267) rose $87,235.

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