'Annie,' 'Heiress' bow in a resurgent week

The Columbus Day holiday weekend brought a surge in Broadway sales last week — helped along by the addition of “Annie” and “The Heiress,” two shows that began previews with solid numbers.

With tourist-fueled attendance up by more than 20,000 to 205,289, B.O. climbed almost $3 million to $20.1 million for 24 shows on the boards.

“Annie” ($560,928 for five previews), angling in on the all-ages demo that keeps shows like “The Lion King” going strong, contributed a decent chunk of change to the Rialto cume for a tuner revival just starting its run. Meanwhile, play revival “The Heiress” ($151,328 for two previews) demonstrated what looks like a solid baseline of aud interest that could potentially grow via word-of-mouth momentum.

In a promising sign for another new show, Paul Rudd and Michael Shannon starrer “Grace” ($511,130) managed to rise in a week that accommodated press perfs and the production’s comp-heavy opening night.

Another mark of the week’s overall strength: No fewer that eight individual shows pulled in sales of more than $1 million each, with “Lion King” ($1,831,098) and “Wicked” ($1,806,846) knocking “The Book of Mormon” ($1,668,832, yet another house record for the musical) out of the No. 1 spot it had occupied over the past few frames. Returning to the millionaires’ club last week was “Nice Work If You Can Get It” ($1,093,515), attracting auds with its familiar Gershwin score and the name recognition of star Matthew Broderick.

Every single show on the boards posted gains, with “Mary Poppins” ($869,373), a consistent fave with visiting family crowds, inflated by a whopping 36%. Another Disney-related property, play “Peter and the Starcatcher” ($422,517), rose by 24% while “An Enemy of the People” ($235,576) climbed in its first full week after opening and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” ($267,184 for seven perfs) also stepped up with two more previews than the prior sesh.

Broadway cume seems likely to slip next week without a holiday to prop it up, but the new productions slated to begin perfs in the coming weeks are poised to help counteract any lingering fall doldrums.

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