Musical stays strong despite bad reviews
It’s starting to look like the revival of “Grease” might actually be the one that Broadway auds want.Despite the downbeat reviews, “Grease” ($892,270) was up by $73,000 and played to full houses last week, with the average sum paid for each ticket climbing to $103.08. That’s higher than the $102.30 averaged by Rialto top dog “Wicked” ($1,480,508) — although a distant second to the $125.57 paid on average for “Jersey Boys” ($1,236,877), which stepped up by $55,000 to hit a new box office record for the August Wilson Theater. Overall Broadway sales were up for the week ending Sept. 2, with most shows seeing increases at the B.O. Still, with one fewer offering on the boards than the prior sesh, cume was up only about $125,000 to $16.3 million for 21 total productions. “The Drowsy Chaperone” ($523,623) got the biggest boost of the week, up by nearly $80,000. But with auds at only 62% of capacity, the tuner could still use another jolt or two. “Curtains” ($798,315), “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” ($264,579) and “Avenue Q” ($414,826) all saw bumps in approximately the $40,000-$50,000 range. “Mary Poppins” ($1,097,633), up more than $30,000, got aggressive with discount tickets, for the first time offering ducats at the TKTS booth even though it’s far from hurting at the B.O. (“The Lion King” has yet to go to the booth.) Only four productions saw declines, the largest of which hit “Rent” ($527,448), which slid almost $50,000 as fan excitement over the return of two of the show’s original cast members continues to fade. “Lion King” ($1,262,397) was off by about $40,000 while “Spring Awakening” ($763,857) and “The Phantom of the Opera” ($735,090) both dipped by about $25,000.