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Biz dips; ‘Rain’ 985g

Broadway grosses

NEW YORK — Broadway held steady in Week 44 (April 3-9) before the Tony-mad rush of openings and reviews kicks into high gear. Total biz fell about $120,000 to $18,180,847.

One show, “The Drowsy Chaperone,” joined the fray. The new tuner, a hit in L.A., started slowly in its first eight perfs, but it’s bringing in a decent-sized crowd with the help of discount prices.

The payoff, producers hope, is the word of mouth those auds will generate.

Elsewhere on the Rialto, there were no real dramatic shifts — except for “The Odd Couple.” The juggernaut hit, starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, sank by more than $150,000, but attendance was still high, at 96%.

What gives? It’s the first week of the limited engagement’s extension — originally set to shutter April 2, the production now runs through June 4 — and fewer premium-priced tickets were sold.

Meanwhile, premium tickets for the white-hot Julia Roberts starrer “Three Days of Rain” continued to sell briskly, keeping the average paid admission price way up around $113.

Among the previewing offerings: “Tarzan,” which played four perfs, is still seeing full houses, while “Lestat” brought in crowds at three-quarters of capacity. “The Threepenny Opera” kept posting strong numbers. Tuner “The Wedding Singer” took in $334,378 for six perfs.

Among the recent openings, sales for two shows in particular raised red flags. “Well” continued to struggle despite critical praise, and Johnny Cash musical “Ring of Fire” still hasn’t caught on.

The 24 musicals grossed $14,993,166 for 82.5% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 210,439 at 82.5% capacity.

The nine Broadway plays grossed $3,187,681 for 17.5% of the Broadway total, with attendance 45,759 at 66.7% capacity.

Average paid admission was $71.25 for musicals, $69.66 for plays and $70.96 for all shows.

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