Shows gain ground in new season

Box office thawed a bit on Broadway last week, with the majority shows gaining ground over the prior sesh and a few productions experiencing only minor dips.

Total cume was up about $1.35 million to $16.2 million for 32 shows reporting (or $17.2 million including the $975,000 estimate for “Young Frankenstein”).

Largest gain of the week was posted by well-reviewed tuner “Passing Strange” ($198,875), rising $80,000 from the previous frame. But since the show still didn’t crack $200,000, it remains to be seen whether the positive press from its Feb. 28 opening will continue to power up sales.

“Grease” ($573,962), “Spring Awakening” ($533,384) and “Mary Poppins” ($788,480) all were up more than $70,000 each. “Is He Dead?” ($217,689) got a lively $60,000 bump in its final week, and the other show that closed Sunday, “Rock ‘n’ Roll” ($321,412) was up about $30,000.

Several productions on the street saw increases in the $20,000 or $30,000 range, including “Curtains” ($482,652), “November” ($459,839), “Chicago” ($375,557) and “A Chorus Line” ($326,495).

“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” ($613,616) and “In the Heights” ($362,706) were among the few shows to see slight drops last week, but both just-opened productions could blame the income drain of press perfs and opening nights.

As “Is He Dead?” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll” made their exit, previewing revival “South Pacific” ($535,671) played it first full week of perfs at houses at around 90% of capacity, while “Gypsy” took in $383,553 for seven perfs with first-week auds of about 52%.

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