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Broadway B.O. hears the good news

Spring break, holidays fuel B.O. rise

Take one week on Broadway, add two religious holidays (Passover and Easter) and several heaping helpings of spring break-fueled tourist sales, and the resurrection jokes write themselves. Rialto box office is risen — with an overall ascension of $4.2 million to hit a cume of $28 million for 39 shows on the boards.

“Wicked” ($2,183,025), “The Lion King” ($2,081,189) and “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” ($2,010,621) all topped the $2 million mark. The most definitive proof that tourists were in town last week, however, were the significant spikes at “Mary Poppins” ($1,364,848) and “The Phantom of the Opera” ($1,262,881), two productions whose sales fluctuations often serve as a reliable marker of tourist turnout.

A handful of house records were broken by shows including “Newsies” ($963,625), the recently opened tuner that came within spitting distance of the $1 million mark, and “Death of a Salesman” ($859,448 for seven perfs), logging a nonmusical tally that would be impressive even if it were playing the usual eight shows per sesh.

Most productions on the boards logged gains, with particularly hefty bumps posted at “Mamma Mia!” ($947,575), “Jesus Christ Superstar” ($904,660) and “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” ($843,498). Building on a notable rise the previous week, “Sister Act” ($860,625) climbed again — and that was without the benefit of new topliner Raven-Symone, who was out for the week with the flu. (She’s expected back in the production this week.)

Among previewing musicals, “Nice Work If You Can Get It” ($736,292 for seven previews) logged promising numbers, while “Ghost” ($583,294 for seven) stayed steady. “Leap of Faith” started slowly, leaping into the B.O. fray with $190,997 for six previews.

As is often the case in tourist-driven frames, plays had trouble turning heads, particularly new additions to the lineup. “Peter and the Starcatcher” ($273,712 for seven), “One Man, Two Guvnors” ($262,614 for four) and “Clybourne Park” ($223,190) were among the stronger previewing nonmusicals, while “Magic/Bird” ($109,707 for seven) and “The Lyons” ($48,615) landed on the low end of the spectrum.

Not many productions declined compared to the prior week, and few dips were notable. “Evita” ($1,271,544) was down thanks to a week that incorporated comp-heavy opening night and press perfs, and “Seminar” ($178,977) plunged following a sesh propelled by last-minute biz to catch departing topliner Alan Rickman. (Jeff Goldblum stepped into the lead role April 1.) “Porgy and Bess” ($488,030), probably too serious a show to benefit from tourists hungry for razzle-dazzle spectacle, also dropped significantly.

Overall attendance for the week shot up by close to 40,000, hitting 299,763.

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