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Baby steps on Broadway

Box office rebounds slowly

Broadway rebounded a bit, but only a bit, in the wake of the $4 million post-Labor Day hit taken during the prior frame.

Most shows posted gains, including a middle pack of offerings — such as “Chicago” ($451,569), “Grease” ($426,214) and “Legally Blonde” ($407,965) — that saw individual rises in the $50,000 range. “The Lion King” ($1,097,103) stepped up by more than $105,000 to rejoin the millionaires’ club, while “Monty Python’s Spamalot” ($415,770) and “Gypsy” ($634,669) climbed by nearly $100,000 each.

To the surprise of no one, the attraction of Daniel Radcliffe in “Equus” ($630,360) proved strong right out of the gate, with the revival becoming the Rialto’s top-earning straight play in its first seven-perf week. Capacity was 74% — which last week was on the high end, behind the nearly full top five — while average price paid per ticket hit $100, trailing the $113 of “Jersey Boys” ($1,101,156) and the $109 of still-super “South Pacific” ($907,972).

“Pacific” actually dipped slightly, while “Xanadu” ($166,695), the only other production to post a loss from the prior week, sank nearly $95,000 in the wake of Whoopi Goldberg’s departure. Meanwhile, the fall doldrums clung particularly strongly to “[title of show]” ($107,590), drawing crowds at 30% of capacity.

Among Broadway’s newer additions, Frank Langella starrer “A Man for All Seasons” brought in $141,039 for its initial five previews at the Roundabout, while “A Tale of Two Cities” ($389,024), heading toward its Thursday opening, played to auds at about 65% capacity.

Total Rialto sales rose about $645,000 to $13.8 million for 25 shows on the boards, or $14.4 million including the $590,000 estimated gross for “Young Frankenstein.”

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