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Returning ‘Rent’ stars help box office

Original cast members boost tally

“Rent” didn’t have any trouble paying the rent last week: The 11-year-old tuner saw the return of original stars Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp, and its weekly gross went up by a whopping $250,000.

Musical’s $632,966 take wasn’t as high as last year’s boffo Christmas-week frame, but still reps a strong showing for the long-runner, which played to more than 98% capacity. Early in the summer the production had posted weekly sales figures below the $300,000 mark.

Overall Rialto sales also were up, although the week’s cume, $18.4 million for 25 shows on the boards, was down $1.4 million from the previous week. Dip can be attributed to the loss of revenue from “Beauty and the Beast,” “Grey Gardens” and “110 in the Shade,” all of which shuttered July 29.

Fantasia returned from her week off from “The Color Purple” ($1,044,381) and drove receipts up by more than $175,000. “Grease” ($887,564) continued to play to near-capacity crowds in its second week of previews, and the recently opened “Xanadu” ($356,752) also climbed.

Tony winner “Spring Awakening” ($804,060) kept biz booming, while “Legally Blonde” ($1,003,305) held onto a spot in the week’s millionaires’ club. And the legit version of “Hairspray” ($894,488) was teased even higher by the publicity boost from the new movie incarnation.

Few shows dipped last week, and none of them slipped by much more than $10,000.

So far the summer has been good to Broadway. Last week’s $18.4 million cume is about $2 million more than those logged by the Rialto in weeks from around the same time last year.

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