B’way auds shower May with big B.O.

'Sundays' continues to break records

Maybe Broadway is making up for a lackluster autumn on its run to the season’s finish. Thirty-five shows brought in a record-setting $18,748,805 for the mid-May time frame, as receipts shot up $1,037,132 or 5.86% from the previous week.

Paid attendance came to 273,074, which is 15,000-25,000 above levels set in 2003 and ’04. Back then, the respective B.O. tallies came to $15.7 million and $16.5 million.

Big news last week was Billy Crystal’s “700 Sundays” ($1,061,688), which set an all-time high for a nonmusical on Broadway. Receipts there were up a huge $300,276, the result of a $110.55 average-price ticket and the star’s first full eight-perf week at the Broadhurst Theater. It had been announced as Crystal’s final session, which, until further notice, now is set for June 7-12.

The remainder of Broadway’s $1.03 million uptick was spread pretty evenly over 31 other shows that grew at the box office. Only “Wicked” ($1,243,774), “Fiddler on the Roof” ($466,933) and “La Cage aux Folles” ($398,963) saw minor dips in dollars.

Beyond Billy, “Sweet Charity” ($595,964) grew the most, up $84,785 and playing to 81.9% capacity.

Beyond the Broadhurst, records were set at the Belasco, the Walter Kerr and the Booth, respectively home to “Julius Caesar” ($651,215), “Doubt” ($503,351) and “The Pillowman” ($415,158). Thanks to premium-price tix, the Bard topped its gross potential by about $12,000. John Patrick Shanley’s parable played to more than 96% capacity and within $50,000 of its gross potential. Martin McDonagh’s Grand Guignol yarn came within $20,000 of its potential at the Booth.

Beyond the Bard, “Glengarry Glen Ross” ($448,078) easily emerged as the top-grossing play revival, its receipts up $7,944.

“A Streetcar Named Desire” ($330,334) and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” ($328,739) gained more, up $72,131 and $73,042, respectively. But most of their increase could be credited to an eighth perf after each did seven the previous week.

With or without Tony noms, other play revivals grossed somewhat less: “The Glass Menagerie” ($233,632), “Steel Magnolias” ($231,066) and “On Golden Pond” ($258,722), up $39,804.

Capacitywise, little tuner “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” ($391,737) at 96.3% rested right between the big guys, “Monty Python’s Spamalot” ($876,147) at 99.7% and “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” ($831,474) at 94.2%. “The Light in the Piazza” ($418,634) followed at 82.8%.

Average-price ticket found “Spamalot” and “Scoundrels” neck-and-neck with respective sums of $76.25 and $76.90. “Bee” was slightly lower at $74.38. Again, “Light” followed with $60.69.

Under the top 10, there were nice bumps at “Beauty and the Beast” ($609,693), up $64,498, and “Rent” ($334,834), up $52,211. “Chicago” ($504,431) enjoyed a similar $51,632 bounce.

Lesser increases benefited “All Shook Up” ($514,631), “Avenue Q” ($492,344), “Movin’ Out” ($484,703), “Brooklyn” ($202,207) and the Brian Stokes Mitchell show “Love/Life” ($81,997), up $18,589 or 29.3% from its previous sesh.

“Jackie Mason: Freshly Squeezed” ($123,424) and the previewing “After the Night and the Music” ($160,332) marked time, while “Little Women” ($316,978) shuttered Sunday, its receipts up $34,996.

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