Biz up; ‘Butley’ 441g

B'way Grosses

NEW YORK — The Broadway season began to kick into gear in Week 20 (Oct. 9-15), with sales rising by about half a million dollars over the previous week and a new addition to the boards from Disney.

“Mary Poppins” started promisingly, selling out its first two perfs. Among other Disney offerings, “Beauty and the Beast” continued to build some momentum with Donny Osmond added to the cast, while “Tarzan” dipped by about $45,000.

“Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me” continued the slow climb it’s been on since it opened in August, suggesting it may have begun to find its audience.

Two more recent openers, “Heartbreak House” and “Losing Louie,” fell off thanks in part to comp-heavy opening weeks. It remains to be seen whether the strong reviews for “House” will propel sales for George Bernard Shaw.

With Usher ending his run early due to illness, “Chicago” was down about $30,000. The big dropoff came the prior sesh, when grosses fell about $130,000 thanks to refunds and exchanges granted the first weekend the pop star called in sick.

Among previewing shows, “Butley” did strong biz, pulling in about 95% capacity crowds. “Grey Gardens” held steady and “The Times They Are a-Changin'” played seven perfs instead of eight, depressing grosses for the Twyla Tharp-Bob Dylan tuner by around $43,000.

The 22 musicals grossed $15,611,151 for 94.8% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 165,251 at 73.8% capacity.

The four plays grossed $826,525 for 5.0% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 8,609 at 65.8% capacity.

Average paid admission was $94.47 for musicals, $96.01 for plays and $77.74 for all shows.

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