Biz soars; ‘Jersey’ $1m

B'way Grosses

NEW YORK — Broadway did big biz over Passover/Easter weekend, cracking $20 million for the first time since the boffo Christmas season.

Strong numbers for stalwarts — “Beauty and the Beast” ($886,047), “Hairspray” ($855,363) and “The Producers” ($870,658) posted particularly large bumps — coupled with robust new contenders — Julia Roberts starrer “Three Days of Rain” pulled in another $983,443 — helped buoy totals.

Cume for all 34 shows on the boards came to $20,296,769 for Week 46 (April 10-16), topping the prior sesh by more than $2 million.

“Jersey Boys” ($1,013,616) finally joined the millionaires’ club after weeks of just missing it.

Several other shows played to 100% capacity auds or more, including “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” ($452,693) and “The Pajama Game” ($442,868).

“Tarzan” continued to sell out its preview period, while “Lestat” rose a tad.

Among the few shows to dip were “Festen” ($193,536), feeling the effects of mixed to negative reviews, and the struggling “Ring of Fire” ($177,795).

Two shows jumped on the late-spring bandwagon: “The History Boys” ($211,040 for three previews) and “The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial” ($114,085), a slow starter despite the presence of “Friends” star David Schwimmer.

The 24 musicals grossed $17,015,612 for 83.8% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 226,283 at 90.7% capacity.

The 10 plays grossed $3,281,157 for 16.2% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 46,455 at 65.3% capacity.

Average paid admission was $75.20 for musicals, $70.63 for plays and $74.42 for all shows.

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