Tony noms help drive Broadway box office

With last week’s Tony nominations turning the media spotlight on Broadway, a couple of shows attracted not just awards attention but a box office boost as well — including “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” which topped the $1 million mark for the first time.

Nommed for 10 Tonys, “Nice Work” ($1,022,115) was already posting robust sales on the strength of a well-known score drawn from the Gershwin catalog and topliner Matthew Broderick. But prodded by the Tony attention, the production rose almost $200,000, or 23%, to land a spot in the millionaires’ club for the first time.

The numbers probably would have risen even without the Tony noms, however, since the previous sesh had incorporated the highly comped press previews and opening night. That’s not the case, however, at March opener “Once” ($707,302), which climbed by almost $100,000, or 16%. Leading the noms tally with 11, “Once” benefitted from headlining the media coverage of the nominations.

The play to see the biggest boost was “The Columnist,” up 31% to $298,094 in the wake of the thesping mention for star John Lithgow. With four noms, “Clybourne Park” ($409,873) continued to gain momentum.

The current revival of “Death of a Salesman” ($943,884 for seven perfs), which scored seven noms, rose to break a house record yet again, as did another Scott Rudin-produced outing, “The Book of Mormon” ($1,605.867), the tuner that scored all the Tony love last season.

Not all the season’s kudo contenders could claim victory at the box office in a week that saw a number of individual productions decline, with the dips at tourist-fave long-runners suggesting a lull in tourism.

Biggest drop of the frame was posted at twice-nommed “The Best Man” ($682,019). Down a whopping 24%, the show still managed to post relatively solid numbers. The ten bids for “Porgy and Bess” ($492,622) didn’t stop that show from slipping by 12%.

The nominee that had it roughest, though, had to be “Leap of Faith” ($171,381), which couldn’t parlay its single nomination for top tuner into a sales figure that topped $200,000. A couple of shutouts, “Seminar” ($150,035) and “Magic/Bird” ($106,449), also struggled, with “Seminar” calling it quits Sunday and “Magic/Bird” poised to shutter at the end of this frame.

This year’s most-nommed nonmusical, “Peter and the Starcatcher” ($286,477), also dipped a bit, but that was because the show played only seven perfs last week rather than the usual eight.

Overall Broadway sales fell by about $800,000 to $25.2 million for 39 shows on the boards. Attendance slid some 16,000 to 280,097.

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