‘White Chistmas’ big on Broadway

Tally stepped up by almost $140,000

NEW YORK A lot of legitgoers are apparently dreaming of a “White Christmas.”

The holiday run of “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas” ($1,397,885) was one of the few shows to see grosses climb in Week 28 (Dec. 1-7) after the last frame’s Thanksgiving sales spike. Tally, for a nine-perf week rather than the standard eight, stepped up by almost $140,000.

Even with that extra curtain, the tuner still couldn’t knock “Wicked” ($1,402,358) off its broomstick in the No. 1 spot. But despite some less-than-glowing reviews, “Christmas” looks to be joining prior Rialto runs of “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” in showing there’s a wintertime market on Broadway for holiday-themed offerings.

Also among shows to post gains last week were “A Man for All Seasons” ($332,577), which rose more than $70,000 and played to crowds at 95% of capacity in its second-to-last week on the boards.

“All My Sons” ($653,013), “Gypsy” ($604,616) and “Dividing the Estate” ($324,822) all were up by more than $65,000 each.

Nonetheless, total cume for the Street was down overall in the wake of the traditional boost bestowed by Thanksgiving weekend traffic at the B.O.

Sales came to about $20.4 million for 32 shows on the boards (or $21 million including estimates for “Young Frankenstein”). Tally was off about $2 million from the prior frame.

Still, numbers look appropriately strong for the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, usually a robust period for Broadway. Six shows earned more than $1 million, including the recently opened “Billy Elliot” ($1,228,761).

Total attendance came to 243,464 (not counting “Frankenstein”), down a little more than 10,000 from the same sesh last year, which logged sales of $19.7 million.

Previewing tuner “Shrek the Musical” ($701,321) played seven perfs last week rather than eight after the cancellation of one show to allow more time for creatives to tinker in the run-up to the musical’s Dec. 14 opening.

In the first week of its brief Rialto stint, “Liza’s at the Palace” banked $553,261 and played to 92% capacity auds. Another limited engagement that opened last week, “Slava’s Snowshow,” brought in $198,798 and played to about 60% of potential, although those receipts may improve after favorable notices received in Dec. 8 papers.

The 24 musicals grossed $16,763,275 for 82.3% of the Broadway total, with an attendance of 195,294 at 80.4% capacity and average paid admission of $85.84.

The nine plays grossed $3,612,288 for 17.7% of the Broadway total, with an attendance of 48,170 at 79.4% capacity and average paid admission of $74.99.

Average paid admission was $83.69 for all shows.

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