Bomb scare is one likely factor
The Times Square bomb scare on Saturday night was likely a factor in the slowing of Broadway business last week.
Although evidence is mostly anecdotal, walk-up business was doubtless affected by the confusion caused by the police action, although no performances were cancelled outright. Due to street closures and blocked access, some theatergoers were unable to make it to their curtains; all those patrons are entitled to refunds.
Although likely aggravated by the chaos of Saturday night, this week of the season often sees dips at the box office in a frame that falls between tourist-heavy times of spring break and summer vacation.
Those refunds may have contributed, for instance, to the slide “Lend Me a Tenor” ($332,497), which fell 31%. A rep for the production said only an estimated 300 people made it to the show.
Dips of more than $100,000 each weren’t uncommon, with some of the heftier drops — “Come Fly Away” ($758,163) and “West Side Story” ($745,564), for example — posted at theaters located on Broadway itself, not far from the parked vehicle that started all the trouble.
Nonetheless, there were a couple of B.O. rises to report, including at the just-opened revival “Promises, Promises” ($1,097,916), topping $1 million for the first time and doing it in a week that accommodated comped tickets for second-night press.
Otherwise, declines were widespread, with total sales falling about $1.4 million to $20.7 million for 34 shows on the boards. Attendance slipped by close to 20,000, to 254,340.