Broadway box office takes a dip

Rialto shows suffer post-holiday blues

Broadway biz slid last week, following a couple of strong frames boosted by Tony-nom fever and Memorial Day tourism.

Total sales dropped off about $1.9 million to $18.7 million for 36 shows on the boards. Such a dip isn’t unusual after the seasonal bump in sales that often follows the announcement of the Tony nominations.

“The Color Purple” ($882,883), starring “American Idol” alum Fantasia, was the hardest hit last week, falling by more than $200,000. Other six-figure dropoffs were seen by tourist-fueled entries “Monty Python’s Spamalot” ($677,273), “Hairspray” ($567,139), “Les Miserables” ($487,856), “Chicago” ($395,936) and “Rent” ($241,916).

High five-figure dips were seen by “The Drowsy Chaperone” ($494,336), dipping below the half-million mark, as well as “The Phantom of the Opera” ($690,780), “Mamma Mia!” ($848,429), “Avenue Q” ($284,503) and Angela Lansbury starrer “Deuce” ($306,258).

Nearly every Rialto production was down, including Tony tuner candidates “Mary Poppins” ($1,044,584), “Curtains” ($693,905), “Spring Awakening” ($586,367) and “Grey Gardens” ($328,292).

Costly tuner “The Pirate Queen” ($442,064), ignored by the Tony noms, also sank, while another big-budget tuner, “Legally Blonde” ($803,312), managed to remain fairly buoyant.

The only two shows on Broadway to rise last week were “Journey’s End” ($159,817), the well-reviewed box office under-performer now heading into its final week, and “Xanadu” ($139,059), up a bit and filling the small Helen Hayes to about 75% capacity in its second week of performances.

One new production joined the fray: The Roundabout revival of “Old Acquaintance” ($81,530), which played four previews.

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