Musicals draw crowds to theater

A couple of Broadway long-runners drew crowds last week, with both the five-year-old “Hairspray” and the 13-year-old “Beauty and the Beast” pulling in capacity auds.

“Hairspray” ($865,744), up more than $55,000, rode the publicity wave of the movie adaptation’s July 20 opening, while “Beauty” ($1,139,499), climbing about $45,000, continued to benefit from last-minute biz before its imminent closing July 29.

Also on the rise were “Xanadu” ($295,462), gaining $65,000 worth of momentum in the wake of strong reviews, and “Grey Gardens” ($536,414), stepping up $50,000 before it, like “Beauty,” shutters Sunday.

In general, summer sales on Broadway remained buoyant over the week ending July 22, with total receipts for 27 shows on the boards gaining about $275,000 to $18.7 million. Overall attendance stayed steady at around 235,000.

The majority of Rialto productions saw increases at the B.O, including “Spring Awakening” ($783,104), still fairly strong more than a month after its Tony wins. A few tuners slipped, with “110 in the Shade” ($323,984) falling by more than $85,000 and “The Color Purple” ($926,763) sliding by about $50,000.

“The Drowsy Chaperone” ($562,669) was up, but “Drowsy” is one musical that hasn’t gotten much of a sales boost from summer this year. The tuner played to 69% capacity last week.

However, it was plays that were most likely to take a hit, with “Frost/Nixon” ($498,438) and “The Year of Magical Thinking” ($181,193) both down by roughly $35,000, and “Deuce” ($178,253) and “Old Acquaintance” ($155,086) also dropping.

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