Disney musical 'Newsies' breaks $1 million
Spring has clearly sprung on Broadway, with a rising tide of spring-break tourists helping to fuel a strong week that saw every single show in the top 10 break the $1 million mark.That includes “Newsies” ($1,024,517), the Disney Theatrical tuner that’s been posting sales so strong that it seems increasingly likely the show will stick around on the Rialto beyond the end of the currently skedded limited run on Aug. 19. “Wicked” ($2,153,975) and “The Lion King” ($2,026,374) topped $2 million each, while “The Book of Mormon” ($1,603,396) broke a house record again and Ricky Martin topliner “Evita” ($1,505,759) soared by more than $225,000 vs. the prior sesh. Tourist faves including “Mary Poppins” ($1,278,365), “The Phantom of the Opera” ($1,134,951) and “Mamma Mia!” ($1,005,002) also benefitted. Below the top 10, “Sister Act” ($951,357), which has spent most of its yearlong lifespan posting middling sales, seems to be gaining some steam. Show got a boost when new topliner Raven-Symone joined the cast three weeks ago (in a move soon after an ad-campaign redesign), then rose again the following frame even though the actress was out with the flu. Last week, with Raven-Symone back in the show, sales climbed by 11%. Previewing musical “Nice Work If You Can Get It” ($891,064 for seven previews) is showing promise, logging robust sales on the strength of a familiar score of Gershwin tunes (and a title that’s a recognizable nod toward the source of its music) as well as topliners Matthew Broderick and Kelli O’Hara. Recently opened musical “Once” ($715,396) reported its best tally so far. A couple of the season’s plays also felt the love, with “Death of a Salesman” ($856,960 for seven perfs) holding steady and “Gore Vidal’s The Best Man” ($836,504) jumping some $150,000 (or 21%), boosted by a cast of recognizable names including James Earl Jones, Candice Bergen and John Larroquette. Sports bio-drama “Magic/Bird” also had a stellar week. Although sales came to only $191,296, that was up 74% over the previous sesh, even incorporating last week’s press perfs and comp-heavy opening. Among the Main Stem’s host of previewing productions, “Ghost” ($633,157 for seven) levitated a bit, while London import “One Man, Two Guvnors” ($491,442) played its first full week of eight previews. Whether the show turns into the hit it became in Blighty remains to be seen as word of mouth begins to spread and reviews hit following the opening later this week. Tuner “Leap of Faith” ($288,494 for seven) continued its slow start, as did a last-minute addition to the Rialto sked, “The Lyons” ($127,852). Another play, “Peter and the Starcatcher” ($310,236), also managed to rise in a week that encompassed press perfs and an opening night, while Judy Garland bio “End of the Rainbow” (up more than $130,000 to $396,056) seems to be getting a boost from the strong reviews for lead thesp Tracie Bennett. Overall Broadway cume climbed $1.7 million to $29.7 million for 39 shows on the boards. Attendance rose more than 20,000 to 322,364.
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