Weekend to forget

Memorial Day sesh weak at Broadway B.O.

Memorial Day is one holiday weekend Broadway does not love. As in years past, box office for the frame fell $809,687 or 4.32% as 35 shows brought in $17,939,118. Good weather also kept people outdoors and not in theaters.

Most shows’ receipts slipped, but none took drastic dips. In fact, much of the downward action was the result of fewer perfs.

Billy Crystal’s “700 Sundays” ($596,917) went from eight the previous week to only five, creating a $464,771 tumble there. Putting in six, “A Streetcar Named Desire” ($236,159) did two fewer, producing $94,175 less. Off $40,072, Brian Stokes Mitchell halved his perf sked to one at “Love/Life” ($41,925). Down just one perf each, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” ($306,159) and “Jackie Mason” ($101,478) were less affected, down $22,580 and $21,949, respectively.

On the plus side, house records were set by “Julius Caesar” ($660,454) at the Belasco, “Doubt” ($512,001) at the Walter Kerr and “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” ($404,050) at Circle in the Square. All three upticks were minor, but good enough to do the trick.

The Bard and Shanley, in fact, were the only two playwrights to grow their receipts. Dramas don’t always enjoy holiday sessions, and last week was no exception. The box office took minor hits at “Glengarry Glen Ross” ($436,779), “The Pillowman” ($406,043), “On Golden Pond” ($244,944), “The Glass Menagerie” ($209,913), the previewing “After the Night and the Music” ($155,599) and “Steel Magnolias” ($196,420), which dropped $34,646 to put in its lowest-grossing week to date.

Elsewhere under the top 10, it was up a little or down a little. For the third week in a row, “Sweet Charity” ($620,557) managed to improve its numbers, up $24,593. Also on the increase were “Beauty and the Beast” ($633,991), “Chicago” ($530,540), “Fiddler on the Roof” ($475,895) and “Rent” ($385,332), which experienced one of the week’s bigger bumps, up $50,498.

Not all tuners basked in the holiday glow. Receipts sustained soft punches at “Avenue Q” ($488,007), “Movin’ Out” ($483,506), “The Light in the Piazza” ($416,596) and “La Cage aux Folles” ($383,837), which saw its capacity shrivel to 56%. Down $2,758, “Brooklyn” ($199,449) was not helped by its end-of-June closing notice. Cap there remained 54%.

More adversely affected was “All Shook Up” ($476,376), which fell $38,255.

“The Constant Wife” ($117,381) put in its first four previews.

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