A dozen shows earn six-figure bumps
Spring may finally have sprung on Broadway last week, with most productions on the boards seeing sales climb.A dozen shows got six-figures bumps, helping to drive the streetwide cume up by $1.7 million to $17.9 million for 31 shows reporting (or about $19 million including the $1.13 million estimated for “Young Frankenstein”). “The Lion King” ($1,140,524) climbed by a hefty $187,000, while both “Mary Poppins” ($949,299) and “Monty Python’s Spamalot” ($797,267) were up by $160,000 each. “Gypsy” ($536,861), gaining more than $150,000 in its first full week of previews, looked to be gaining steam. “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” (up $85,000 to $699,604) continued to be the top-grossing play on the Rialto, followed by “November” ($503,678), which broke a house record at the Barrymore. The only Broadway offering to see a significant sales dip was, surprisingly, “August: Osage County” (down more than $80,000 to $453,605), which has otherwise remained rock solid through the winter downturn. Producer Jeffrey Richards attributes the drop to the late announcement last month of the show’s most recent extension (and its subsequent jump to the vacant Music Box April 29). The recently opened “In the Heights” ($467,783) gained more than $100,000 despite having to accommodate some second-week press seats, while the previewing “South Pacific” ($579,322) pulled in crowds at 97% of capacity. “Passing Strange” ($225,642) gained only about $25,000. The tuner, which has earned strong press, hopes to drum up word of mouth by stripping away most restrictions on its $25 day-of rush tickets. One show — “Come Back, Little Sheba” ($244,702) — closed last week, logging its highest tally in its final frame on the boards, while another show, “Cry-Baby” ($69,652), began perfs. It only played one preview, but it did so to a full house.
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