Attendance up at nearly every show
Broadway recovered in a big way after last week’s decline, with seven shows posting sales over $1 million and 12% jumps in both overall receipts and attendance.New shows continued to join the crowd, as basketball-cum-Greek comedy musical “Lysistrata Jones” ($35,916) and the revival of “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever” ($298,553), toplined by Harry Connick Jr., both began previews, while “Bonnie and Clyde” ($415,841) and “Private Lives” ($363,805) both expanded to a full eight previews. Other newer shows contributing to the boffo B.O. include “Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway,” which broke its own house record at the Broadhurst with a take of more than $1.2 million despite playing its heavily comped opening night last week, and Lincoln Center transfer “Other Desert Cities” ($533,817), which is packing the Booth with SRO auds. Even more than the increase in B.O., the health of Broadway can be seen in the attendance numbers posted by almost every show. Only “Follies” ($797,116) and “Relatively Speaking” ($689,420) drew fewer people this week than last, and only “Follies” and the recently opened and still-catching-on “Chinglish” ($376,837) played to auds under 70% of capacity. “Wicked” returned to the top of the chart after falling to second last week, while “The Book of Mormon” continued to be the hottest ticket on the Main Stem, with a seat at the Eugene O’Neill running $154.90 on average. Overall sales actually declined slightly at “Mormon” ($1,355,672, off 1%) and “The Lion King” ($1,567,760, also down 1%), but large increases at other shows, including tourist targets “Mary Poppins” ($794,452, up 28%) and the soon-to-shutter “The Addams Family” ($729,363, up 24%), combined with all the newcomers to push the Rialto’s cume to $23.8 million. The total represents a gain of more than $1.2 million over last year despite six fewer productions on the boards. B.O. should continue to rise next week with continued pleasant weather, as “Godspell,” “Venus in Fur” and “Jackman” do away with comps and preview pricing and “Lysistrata” and “On a Clear Day” expand to full schedules.