'Guys and Dolls' takes a tumble

Broadway sales slipped a bit last week, with a few newly minted hot tickets gaining momentum while most offerings saw box office dips.

Biggest gain of the week was posted by “Exit the King” ($452,483), up by nearly $85,000 in the wake of strong reviews for the Geoffrey Rush and Susan Sarandon starrer. The strong-selling new revival of “West Side Story” ($1,234,652) and the starry, well-reviewed play “God of Carnage” ($698,882) also were among the shows that climbed, as was the fluctuating “Shrek the Musical” ($747,110).

Two previewing productions, tuner “Next to Normal” ($206,466) and play “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone” ($165,282), gained a bit of steam, while “Impressionism” ($324,501) rose somewhat in the week after its heavily comped opening frame.

Also up was “Rock of Ages” ($284,199), despite the press tickets accommodated in the weekend leading up to its opening tonight.

Otherwise, sales generally slipped, although few individual declines were more than $50,000. Perhaps most notably, “Guys and Dolls” ($517,608) fell off by $125,000, following a few weeks of solid numbers in the $600,000 range.

“Hair” ($607,012) was down in its opening week, but those figures seem likely to rise following positive reviews and reports of strengthening advance sales. The other show to open last week, “Reasons to Pretty” ($120,597), barely diminished, with the underperforming play hoping to snowball now that the press has weighed in favorably.

Meanwhile, two new productions added coin to the Rialto pot, with the Roundabout’s revival of “Waiting for Godot” ($204,485), starring Nathan Lane and Bill Irwin, playing to an impressive 92% of capacity. London hit “Mary Stuart” ($146,353 for seven perfs) started more slowly, attracting crowds at 40%.

Overall Broadway cume slipped about $170,000 to around $17 million for 30 shows on the boards.

These springtime frames have in the past been subject to more dramatic ups and downs. But legiters speculate that the vagaries of academic scheduling mean that sales-driving spring breaks are more staggered this year than in prior seasons — thereby keeping grosses on a more even keel.

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