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Broadway box office stays high

Musicals hit high note with audiences

Broadway held on to some of the momentum from Presidents Day weekend, upticking to $18.3 million in total sales for the week ending Feb. 25. That’s up by about $1 million from the prior sesh.

Most individual productions saw their grosses rise, and the dips experienced by the others were relatively minor. Overall, though, the news was best for tuners.

Leading the upswing was “Mary Poppins” ($1,228,618), stepping up by more than $200,000 to claim second place behind “Wicked” ($1,452,306).

“The Phantom of the Opera” ($829,376) got a noticeable boost also, rising by more than $140,000, while “A Chorus Line” ($805,080) climbed by about $105,000.

Up around $90,000, “The Producers” ($635,401) saw signs of the spring thaw — although this spring will be its last, with producers announcing last week that the show would shutter April 22.

“The Color Purple” ($769,287), which had some rough patches this winter, continued its rehabilitation, pulling in about $80,000 more than the prior week. Waiting in the wings: “American Idol’s” Fantasia Barrino, who steps into the lead role April 10 and could well goose sales, thanks in part to national TV plugs on “Idol” and on an upcoming episode of Oprah Winfrey’s show.

But slowing down a tad was “Spring Awakening” ($588,579), in the wake of last week’s impressively vigorous B.O.

And in the soon-to-be-crowded field of non-musicals, many plays had a tough time attracting crowds. Still in previews, neither “Talk Radio” ($214,414) nor “Prelude to a Kiss” ($175,266) pulled in big auds, and for “Journey’s End” ($117,149), which opened Feb. 22, it’s too early for strong reviews to register at the box office.

However, the Tom Stoppard trilogy “The Coast of Utopia” ($538,932) is hitting its stride: From here on out it’ll play full weeks of all three productions in repertory. Last week it played to audiences of about 95% capacity.

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