‘Spamalot’s’ feat of clay

Broadway Grosses

NEW YORK — After a rough post-holiday frame that saw receipts plummet, Broadway sales got a welcome uptick in Week 34 (Jan. 14-20). Grosses rose by about $700,000 to an estimated $17.5 million for 31 shows on the boards — a tally that also compares favorably with the $14.7 million for 28 shows reported over the same week last year.

One of the largest week-to-week gains was seen by “Monty Python’s Spamalot” ($797,390), which looks to have benefited from the debut Jan. 18 of “American Idol” alum Clay Aiken. Both “Spamalot” and “Legally Blonde” ($668,409), seemingly correcting a bit after steep dips the prior sesh, rose by $138,000 each.

Up about $88,000, “The Color Purple” ($477,153) began to climb back up from the major slide it took in the wake of star Fantasia’s recent departure. “Hairspray” ($640,692) rose by about the same amount.

The January doldrums didn’t much chill the usual slate of top performers, officially led by “Wicked” ($1,371,768) and “Jersey Boys” ($1,157,164) as estimates for “Young Frankenstein” dipped to $1.26 million. Clumped together in the top 10, all three Disney offerings stayed strong, with newly opened tuner “The Little Mermaid” ($950,655) not quite hitting the same highs as long-runner “The Lion King” ($1,050,324).

“August: Osage County” ($609,017) continued to log the heftiest totals of the many plays now running, although “Rock ‘n’ Roll” ($437,824) and “November” ($415,166) also reported relatively healthy numbers for nontuners.

Long-runner “Rent” ($333,226) got a bump in Week 34, during which the show announced a closing date of June 1, while the profitable run of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” ($282,053) played its final perf Jan. 20.

The 23 musicals grossed $13,045,310 ($14,305,130 estimated) for 80.0% of the Broadway total, with an attendance of 167,507 at 80% capacity and average paid admission of $77.88.

The eight plays grossed $3,225,922 for 19.8% of the Broadway total, with an attendance of 51,132 at 66.1% capacity and average paid admission of $63.09.

Average paid admission was $74.42 for all shows.

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