‘White Christmas,’ Liza see boosts

Holiday musical bumps 'Wicked' from the top

Holiday engagements did gangbusters last week, with limited runs of “White Christmas” and “Liza’s at the Palace” stepping up sales significantly in a frame that saw box office at most productions slip.

“White Christmas” ($1,489,184) even managed to knock “Wicked” ($1,430,967) out of its habitual No. 1 spot on the top 10. “Christmas” was helped along, of course, by the fact that it played nine perfs vs. the eight logged by “Wicked,” although weekly audience capacity for “Christmas” ended up only slightly higher than “Wicked” due to the fact that the Marquis Theater, the “Christmas” venue, seats about 200 fewer theatergoers than the Gershwin does for “Wicked.”

The tally for “Liza” ($660,699) puts the show just outside the top 10, but the production raked in that much coin for just four perfs, playing to houses that averaged about 94% capacity.

This year’s Tony winners also retained auds, with winning tuner “In the Heights” ($814,783) and tuner revival “South Pacific” ($926,002) both on the rise.

Also posting gains were soon-to-close shows getting an infusion of last-minute biz before they shutter in January, including “Monty Python’s Spamalot” ($576,974), “Spring Awakening” ($343,049) and “13” ($268,319).

Otherwise, sales generally dipped, with total cume slipping about $630,000 to $19.7 million for 32 shows on the boards (or $20.3 million including estimates for “Young Frankenstein”).

Largest tumbles were taken by “The Little Mermaid” ($724,570) and “Grease” ($491,496), both of which were down by more than $100,000 each. “Shrek the Musical” ($543,355) also saw a steep drop during a week that accommodated the new tuner’s press perfs and opening night.

Only production to shutter last week was “A Man for All Seasons” ($297,728), which ended its limited run Dec. 14.

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