'Streetcar,' Tony nominees gain steam
Overall Broadway cume remained nearly flat last week, but that didn’t mean there weren’t some switch-ups in the status quo, with Tony-nommed plays and tuners continuing to pick up biz and an unusual bit of jostling at the top of the chart.The biggest bump of the week was posted at “A Streetcar Named Desire” ($446,069), up 24% or about $87,000, the largest upswing of any show on the boards. With just a single Tony nod for costume design, the momentum can’t be attributed to awards heat; it could instead be an indicator that word-of-mouth has helped sales pick up, although whether that will be borne out in the coming weeks remains to be seen. “Nice Work If You Can Get It” ($1,092,937) and “Once” ($788,510), both in the running for the top tuner Tony, continued to gain steam, while “Porgy and Bess” ($571,166), stepped up notably in the wake of its slew of Tony noms for musical revival. Play revival competitors “Death of a Salesman” ($934,861) and “The Best Man” ($737,996) — which have already proven themselves strong B.O. magnets — each posted another week of healthy receipts. So did the unwavering “Evita” ($1,529,144), the musical revival nominee powered by topliner Ricky Martin and the well-known Andrew Lloyd Webber title. Imported Brit hit “One Man, Two Guvnors” ($585,960), left out of the Tony race for play, climbed by a respectable $50,000, as did “Ghost” ($704,545), indicating the latter might be making strides in battling its unenthusiastic reviews. In a box office week with very little drama, one of the more unsual elements is the fact that habitual top dog “Wicked” ($1,579,314) found itself in the No. 3 slot, behind its biggest competish “The Lion King” ($1,717,281) as well as premium-ticket champ “The Book of Mormon” ($1,598,593). The switcheroo likely isn’t indicative of any long-term trend other than the increasingly savvy pricing tactics that these days help all top shows maximize profits. Biggest dip of the frame was logged at “Mary Poppins” ($529,251), but that’s because the musical played a six-perf week rather than the usual eight. At a full eight perfs, “Mamma Mia!” ($662,496) also had a down week. In terms of overall numbers, Broadway posted figures that were almost exactly the same as those from the prior sesh. Sales came in at $25.2 million, essentially on par with the previous week, even though the now-shuttered “Seminar” wasn’t around to add to the pot. Attendance was down by a negligible 85 people. In the coming frames, major shifts likely won’t arrive on the scene until after the Tonys, as summer tourism kicks into high gear and the aftermath of the Tony Awards starts to be felt in ticketbuying patterns.
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