Timbers shivered, ‘Pirate’ fights on

Despite poor reviews, audiences grow

Seas have been rough enough for “The Pirate Queen” — the latest Broadway tuner from “Les Miz” creatives Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg — that rumors of its moneylosing potential have floated all the way out to the left coast.

During the production’s Chicago tryout in the fall, two new creatives — book writer and lyricist Richard Maltby Jr. and choreographer Graciela Daniele — were brought in to tinker. And in New York, critical reception of the show’s April 5 opening wasn’t exactly kind.

But it may be too soon to declare “Queen” a sinking ship.

Weekly grosses have risen consistently since its first Gotham preview March 6. Even during its comp-heavy opening week, receipts climbed (up $40,000 to $704,024).

Producers knew that Boublil and Schonberg aren’t always critical faves, so they weren’t counting on strong reviews.

“We did not build a marketing plan around critics’ opinions,” says exec producer Edgar Dobie. “In that sense, we weren’t disappointed.”

But Dobie and producers Moya Doherty and John McColgan aim to keep pumping sales.

“You’ll see more of a TV and radio presence,” says Dobie. “TV really turns up the dial for us.”

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