Broadway beset by summer doldrums

Half of 28 shows on the boards saw declines

The traditional summer slump took the wind out of Broadway sales to the tune of $1.5 million last week, with the total sagging to $18,547,188.

More than half of the 28 shows on the boards saw declines, with “Grey Gardens” slipping by more than $70,000 despite Monday’s announcement of a July 29 closing. That decline is partly attributable to one perf dropped from the schedule.

Terrence McNally’s “Deuce” also took a significant hit; the play dropped $48,000, or 21%, to gross $185,259.

Paid attendance for “Xanadu” also dipped during its final week of previews, but heavily comped critics’ performances probably accounted for the decline in sales on the tuner update of the 1980 camp classic, which is generating strong word of mouth.

“The Year of Magical Thinking” closed for a one-week hiatus, depriving the week-six slate of about $200,000, based on last week’s figures. The Vanessa Redgrave starrer resumes performances today.

On an up note, several shows that have been climbing continued to do so. The boost “Spring Awakening” received after its strong performance at the Tony awards has yet to abate. Playing to just under 99% capacity, the teen-angst tuner grossed $775,000, up $17,000 from last week, edging ever closer to the top 10.

Publicity for the July 29 closing of “Beauty and the Beast” after a 13-year run has fueled a steady B.O. increase — the venerable Disney tuner broke $1 million this week.

Another Mouse musical, “Tarzan,” shuttered Sunday after a disappointing run of 14 months, representing a rare miss for Disney’s theatrical arm. Also wrapping over the weekend was the limited run of “Inherit the Wind” with Christopher Plummer and Brian Dennehy. Both shows posted solid closing-week numbers and played to 98% capacity.

Despite the overall decrease this week, Broadway is still up $2.5 million from last year’s 26 shows.

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