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Broadway box office stages February high

B'way shows fetch $15 mil

Finally, we have a winner.

Broadway set a record for the mid-February time frame. Twenty-five shows brought in $15,092,662, up $852,925 (5.99%) over the previous session. For most weeks of 2004-05, tallies have fallen short of records set in the corresponding weeks from 2003-04 and 2002-03.

Paid attendance, however, continued to lag. Last week’s 225,522 didn’t quite match the 233,364 from February 2004.

All eyes now are on the shows ready to open.

Despite some crix comps, “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” ($662,211) gained $62,684 for its highest-grossing session. The new tuner opens Thursday.

Also in previews, “Spamalot” ($847,418) added one to put in a full eight perfs, with an additional $127,994 to show for it. The Monty Python redux played to 96.8% capacity; “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” performed to 88.4%.

After clocking in just one preview the previous week, “All Shook Up” ($418,997) put in seven, sparking a $323,591 gain there. It played to 83.9% capacity, but did so with a cut-rate $42.56 average price ticket. “Spam” averaged a hotsy $74.77; “Scoundrels” came in at a decent $65.22.

Was it Jessica Lange’s star power or the news about Dallas Roberts’ replacement? “The Glass Menagerie” ($259,564) grossed impressively for only its first five previews. Christian Slater goes into the show March 8, with opening night now pushed back to March 22.

Good news for “Little Women” ($481,519): It built on its numbers from the Presidents Day session, if only marginally. Receipts were up $20,792. But it was bad news for “Good Vibrations” ($294,249), whose gross dropped a sharp $54,489.

Elsewhere under the top 10, there was major slippage at “Chicago” ($528,777), which can handle a $67,658 decline. So can “Rent” ($421,752), which fell $51,970. “Democracy” ($265,515), on the other hand, can do without a $62,114 dip.

Other shows brushed off tiny downticks: “Movin’ Out” ($664,740), “La Cage aux Folles” ($582,302) and “Avenue Q” ($489,837). Off somewhat more, “Dame Edna” ($270,347) fell $24,715.

There were small five-figure upticks at “Twelve Angry Men” ($309,785) and “Brooklyn Boy” ($236,070). The musical “Brooklyn” ($295,336) rebounded somewhat more, up $57,623.

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