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Broadway spring fling

Box office awakens on Great White Way

Broadway shook off some of its winter doldrums last week, with most shows posting box office gains over the prior week.

Tally of grosses for the 28 productions on the boards rose to $14.5 million, up about $600,000 over the previous frame. Total’s about a half million more than that logged over the same frame in 2005 but not quite as high as the strong showing ($14.7 million) posted over the equivalent week in 2003.

As for the individual productions, “Spring Awakening” ($514,372) looked particularly strong, climbing more than $65,000 to beat out spectacle tuners such as “Les Miserables” ($499,265), “Tarzan” ($465,111) and “The Producers” ($437,751).

“The Color Purple” ($579,215) saw a sizable $95,000 bump, and “The Lion King” ($900,309) rose $85,000 –not enough to beat out its newer Disney sibling, “Mary Poppins” ($981,931), which held onto third place in the top 10.

Among the season’s musical offerings, “Grey Gardens” ($421,526) climbed back up over the $400,000 line, and “Company” ($359,535) stepped up about $55,000.

Still feeling some winter chill, several shows remained stuck under the $300,000 mark, including “The Vertical Hour” ($299,373) and “Rent” ($272,138). Producers of “Vertical Hour,” which never drew the crowds one might expect from its starry creative team, decided last week it would shutter March 11, three weeks earlier than skedded, in order to stay in the black.

Meanwhile, “The Little Dog Laughed” ($186,523) hasn’t picked up any biz as it heads into its final week. And “Journey’s End,” the only new offering of the sesh, was sparsely attended. Its first five perfs grossed just $80,139 at 34% of capacity.

Next up: Presidents Day weekend, which usually gives Broadway a boost — unless the winter’s first real snow, predicted for later this week, keeps auds away.

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