'Mormon' continues its ascension

Overall Broadway sales declined following the Easter-week spike the prior sesh — but a number of plays, including “War Horse,” actually gained some steam, and tuner “The Book of Mormon” got a little closer to heaven, or at least to the pinnacle of the top 10.

Gaining more than $100,000 over the previous frame, buzz magnet “Mormon” ($1,119,699) landed in the No. 3 slot in a week that also saw the tuner rack up a string of legit kudo noms from orgs including the Outer Critics and the Drama Desk. At the top of the chart, “The Lion King” ($1,754,459) outpaced “Wicked” ($1,736,420) for the second week in a row.

With the previous sesh packed with vacationing visitors eager for razzle-dazzle tuners, this week allowed a little breathing room for the season’s well-reviewed plays to gain a little momentum. “War Horse” ($881,950) galloped toward the $900,000 mark, while Ben Stiller-Edie Falco starrer “The House of Blue Leaves” ($543,114) was up by almost $120,000 in a week that accommodated its heavily comped opening and second-night press perfs.

Also benefitting from great press, “Jerusalem” ($361,296) and “The Normal Heart” ($184,396) rose as well, even if the tallies were lower than producers might wish. Chris Rock starrer “The Motherfucker With the Hat” ($612,097) wavered only slightly.

On the other hand, play “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo” ($461,825) was down some $140,000, perhaps because star Robin Williams had helped attract some tourist biz during the Easter frame. Another play, fall opener “Lombardi,” ($155,898) slipped to the bottom of the pile.

Among tuners, “Sister Act” ($799,322), which earned generally mixed-to-good notices, was one of the few to rise last week, its first full post-opening frame.

The majority of musicals saw biz drop, although for many shows sales remained generally robust. “Mary Poppins” ($1,035,336) managed to remain above $1 million despite dropping some $415,000, while a $370,000 fall for “The Phantom of Opera” ($952,171) still kept the tally high for the 23-year-old production.

The steepest declines came at “The Addams Family” ($690,893), which fell precipitously out of the millionaires’ club with a drop of $500,000 (or 42%), and at “Wonderland” ($569,842), sliding 37%. Catalog tuners “Rain” ($353,638) and “Million Dollar Quartet” ($321,843) also logged notable slippage.

Overall Rialto cume slid $5.3 million to $23.5 million for 36 shows on the boards, with one show, “La Cage aux Folles” ($361,908), playing its final frame.

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