Spring week sees box office soar
Passover plus Easter equaled big Broadway B.O. last week, with total sales shooting up by a hefty 18%. The overlapping holidays during one of the nation’s spring-break weeks brought an influx of visitors to Gotham and to the Main Stem. And even though the weather was notably gorgeous over the weekend, auds weren’t afraid to spend some of their time in a dark auditorium: Overall Broadway receipts came in at $24.5 million for 33 shows on the boards, up about $3.7 million from the prior frame. Exiting production “A View From the Bridge” ($988,455) — the successful revival that has contributed a hefty sum of coin to the pot over the past several weeks — finished off its limited run. But the show, powered by topliners Liev Schreiber and Scarlett Johansson, went out on a high note, breaking a box office record for the Cort Theater, where the prior record (of about $950,000) was set in March 2009 by the venue’s previous smash, the Will Ferrell starrer “You’re Welcome America.”The previewing tuner revival “Promises, Promises” ($987,073 for seven perfs) continued to sell robustly, playing to 98% capacity. Green Day musical “American Idiot” ($743,550 for seven perfs), also in previews, filled houses to an average of about 86% capacity. Recently opened Twyla Tharp dance-ical “Come Fly Away” ($794,235) rose by a healthy 27%, despite being a week that accommodated the comp tickets from two post-opening press perfs. The show’s profile, already raised thanks to its Frank Sinatra score, got an additional boost last week from a prominent critical duel played up in the New York Times. (The legit critic loved it; the dance critic didn’t.) Also rising by 27% was “Red” ($333,768) in a week that included press perfs and its opening night. That show could well continue to gain momentum if the production’s strong reviews prompt playgoers to buy ducats. The Broadway lineup was dominated by gains at most individual shows, with the big tourist-draws seeing the most significant sales bumps. Previewing musical “The Addams Family” ($1,391,177) held on to its spot near the top of the top 10, coming in behind “Wicked” ($1,686,510) and “The Lion King” ($1,544,633). Another of the week’s previewing musicals, “Million Dollar Quartet” ($332,360), seems like a solid draw for visiting ticketbuyers (thanks to a score comprising familiar tunes by the likes of Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash), but didn’t rise much last week. That show has yet to cultivate much of a profile with theatergoers, a task that could potentially be helped along by reviews that come out of its April 11 opening. Only one show declined notably last week, and that one’s easily explained. “A Little Night Music” ($434,346) sank by nearly 50% — but that’s because star Catherine Zeta-Jones was out for the week on a previously skedded vacation. In general, plays — not to mention less-traditional musicals like “Fela!” ($582,740) — got less of a boost than the shows most likely to attract out-of-towners. Besides “View From the Bridge,” two other shows exited the scene last week. “All About Me” ($211,231) actually declined slightly, but last-minute biz did bring an notable uptick at the revival of “The Miracle Worker” ($325,284), which climbed a hearty 65%.