Attendance drops in slow week
It was low tide on Broadway last week, as attendance fell by about 10% — some 27,500 theatergoers — in a frame that landed in between the tourism highs of the recent spring-break weeks and the imminent high-summer seshes.
Nearly every show on the boards logged declines. Chief among the very few that didn’t was “Death of a Salesman” ($1,066,582), once again breaking the record at the Barrymore Theater and capitalizing on the get-it-while-you-can high demand spurred by the final week of its limited run, which ended June 2. Show bowed out just prior to the Tony Awards, where the production is up for seven Tonys.
Another offering with some awards-season momentum behind it, “Once” ($827,501) also upticked — just barely, but it’s still an exception in the Street’s overall slowdown. Another Tony-nommed tuner, “Newsies” ($974,540) held steady, while the Roundabout Theater Company revival of “Harvey” ($491,643) gained a bit of steam, driven by the high TV profile of topliner Jim Parsons.
Even with the overall downturn on the Street, no fewer than six shows topped the $1 million mark, including “Salesman,” once again joining the millionaires’ club despite a shortened playing sked of seven perfs vs. the traditional eight. While the usual suspects — “Wicked” ($1.802,133), “The Lion King” ($1,781,682) and “The Book of Mormon” ($1,604,455) — topped the list, both “Evita” ($1,360,168) and “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” ($1,242,960) fell by more than $200,000 apiece but still easily managed to top $1 million.
Although those bigger titles had no shortage of paying customers, other shows struggled in the leaner week. “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” ($520,550), which closes later this month, played to houses filled to an average of just 52% of capacity, while “The Lyons” ($207,654), up for a Tony for lead actress Linda Lavin, played to auds of just 44% of capacity.
Overall attendance slid to 257,495, meaning about 73% of Broadway’s available seats last week were filled. B.O. slid $2.4 million to $24 million for 36 shows on the boards.