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Post-strike, Broadway back to work

Broadway summary

NEW YORK Broadway shook off the strike in Week 27 (Nov. 26-Dec. 2), and a string of returning shows hit the ground running, playing five or six perfs over the frame after Wednesday’s resolution of the work stoppage.

Take “Cyrano de Bergerac” ($629,223), which in just five perfs pulled in a tally that would rep a robust showing for a straight play in an average eight-show week. (Show will get a chance to make up for the revenue it lost during the strike with a two-week extension of its limited run, now ending Jan. 6.).

Previewing tuner “The Little Mermaid” ($507,884) drew near-capacity crowds, breaking the half-million mark in only four perfs.

And such perennial top performers as “Wicked” ($941,588) and “Jersey Boys” ($887,472) returned instantly to full-house status, with the average ticket price paid for “Jersey Boys” topping a staggering $144.

Also holding up well upon their returns were tuner “Grease” ($516,701) and play “Rock ‘n’ Roll” ($323,133), among others.

Playing a full week of its unusually heavy performance sked, holiday tuner “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” ($1,218,880 for 13 perfs) led the pack, with another show unaffected by the strike last week, “Mary Poppins” ($1,109,074), following close behind.

Estimates for “Young Frankenstein,” which does not report grosses, pegged B.O. at about $1.6 million.

Total Rialto cume for the week jumped by about $10 million to $16.2 million (including “Frankenstein” estimates) for 34 shows on the boards. That’s about $3.5 million behind the same week last year, which, unfettered by a strike, took in $19.6 million for 32 productions.

“Xanadu” ($254,302) and “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” ($205,443), which both played during the strike, sank by more than $200,000 each in a process of post-strike and post-Thanksgiving equalization.

As expected, the strike seemed to sap the most momentum from the fall’s crowded slate of previewing plays, with “The Farnsworth Invention” ($173,966), “August: Osage County” ($129,137), “The Seafarer” ($62,149) and “Is He Dead?” ($52,352) all seeing paid attendance fall below — in some cases, well below — 50%.

In an effort to boost biz, “Is He Dead?” and “The Seafarer” are following the lead of “Chicago” and offering $26.50 tickets for some perfs. And the publicity boost of the coming week’s opening nights for all four shows may also help them hit their stride.

The 24 musicals grossed $12,264,872 ($13,864,872 estimated) for 78.7% of the Broadway total, with an attendance of 147,249 at 83.9% capacity and average paid admission of $83.29.

The 10 plays grossed $2,361,245 for 16.1% of the Broadway total, with an attendance of 37,920 at 64.3% capacity and average paid admission of $62.27.

Average paid admission was $78.99 for all shows.

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