‘Glen Ross’ boss of B’way grosses

Broadway hot for May, but off from prior week

With nearly every midtown theater occupied, Broadway had no problem setting a record for the early May frame. Thirty-six shows brought in $17,228,111. The bad news: Total receipts were off $994,202 from the previous week. Paid attendance came to 257,346. These lofty numbers stack up against $14.5 million and 226,137 in May 2004, and $13.9 million and 225,123 in May 2003.

Although most shows went south, “Glengarry Glen Ross” ($400,745) had no trouble bucking the downward trend. Buoyed by rave reviews, receipts there jumped $111,106 coming off the revival’s preem week. Gross potential looms at $673,276.

Other upticks were much less spectacular. Under the top 10, “Julius Caesar” ($625,292) grew $31,336, setting a house record at the Belasco. For the fourth straight week, “On Golden Pond” ($268,230) continued its upswing, counting another $27,395 in its coffers. “Avenue Q” ($463,457), “Steel Magnolias” ($209,872) and “Freshly Squeezed” ($124,356) scored minor bumps. So, too, did “The 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee” ($313,492), which achieved the rare feat of increasing receipts $4,061 during its heavily comped preem week. The middle-school tuner played to 83.8% capacity, earning a nice $68.40 average-price ticket.

Were potential patrons to other new shows waiting for the Tony noms? Or was there too much competish? For some shows, late April/early May can be as tough at the box office as September or January. Huge six-figure decreases plagued “The Producers” ($761,681), “Hairspray” ($651,228), “Fiddler on the Roof” ($439,395) and new vehicle on the block “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” ($663,764), which was off the most: down $200,673 and losing nearly 25% of its previous week’s gross.

Under the top 10, big five-figure slides beset “Beauty and the Beast” ($590,416), “Chicago” ($443,331), “Movin’ Out” ($425,007) and newcomer “All Shook Up” ($472,441) falling $42,962 to put in its lowest-grossing week of regular perfs. Comps for crix and first-nighters took a sizable $72,512 chunk out of “Sweet Charity” ($422,761).

‘Little’ a little less

Tuners “Little Women” ($275,738) and “Brooklyn” ($187,626) were off less, down $42,138 and $35,647, respectively, but they had much less to begin with. Small five-figure downticks also affected “Rent” ($289,281), “La Cage aux Folles” ($367,315) and “The Pillowman” ($380,475), which at least had the good excuse of comped awards voters. Its major competish there, “Doubt” ($443,364), dipped only $2,105. “The Light in the Piazza” ($329,228) fell $4,028.

In its penultimate week, “Twelve Angry Men” ($224,292) retreated $13,996.

Tennessee Williams was both up and down last week. “A Streetcar Named Desire” ($278,900) expanded $19,559. Off $20,565, “The Glass Menagerie” ($196,311) put in its poorest B.O. perf to date.

On its yo-yo perf sked, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” ($286,044) increased only $19,633 despite eight last week, seven the previous week.

In previews, “After the Night and the Music” ($160,590) went from five to eight previews, with another $64,818 to show for it.

Brian Stokes Mitchell’s “Love/Life” ($60,449) played two perfs at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater.

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