Broadway hits springboard

Broadway Grosses

NEW YORK — Spring may finally have sprung on Broadway in Week 42 (March 10-16), as most productions on the boards saw sales climb.

A dozen shows got six-figure 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 “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 on 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 played only one preview, but it did so to a full house.

The 23 musicals grossed $15,309,890 ($16,439,890 estimated) for 85.5% of the Broadway total, with an attendance of 210,818 at 86.6% capacity and average paid admission of $72.62.

The nine plays grossed $2,597,032 for 14.5% of the Broadway total, with an attendance of 40,676 at 74.9% capacity and average paid admission of $63.85.

Average paid admission was $71.20 for all shows.

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