the rascals

A slew of spring productions continue to post strong sales

Last week’s Broadway box office saw the trends established on the prior week’s sales chart hold true one more time, with a quartet of spring titles still camped out in the millionaires’ club and a trio of outgoing productions confirming that producers made the right decision to shutter early.

The lack of notable shifts helped play up the otherwise under-the-radar success of concert-cum-bio “The Rascals: Once Upon a Dream,” which in the final week of its brief limited run racked up $822,957 in just five perfs, topping the $775,000 the show logged the prior frame with five. The impressive tally reps the latest Rialto success for concert gigs including “Manilow on Broadway” and “Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons on Broadway,” in short engagements that can be useful tools in helping theater owners fill vacant theaters in between more traditional legit fare.

Otherwise, it was largely business as usual on the Main Stem. Tom Hanks-toplined play “Lucky Guy” ($1,382,232) managed to best the spring’s three tuner powerhouses, “Motown” ($1,209,773), “Kinky Boots” ($1,140,513) and “Matilda” ($1,103,030), and all of them came in just behind the Street’s perennial top three, “The Lion King” ($1,829,570), “The Book of Mormon” ($1,691,752) and “Wicked” ($1,651,541). The only thing out of the ordinary there was the fact that “Mormon” topped “Wicked,” which happens occasionally but not very often, given the smaller size of the “Mormon” venue.

Outside of the Top 10, Bette Midler starrer “I’ll Eat You Last” ($753,217 for seven perfs), notably left off the Tony nominations list, continued to show it didn’t need Tony nods anyway, earning another robust sum for a show in such a small house. The season’s top-nommed musical revival, “Pippin” ($785,386), saw B.O. rise and, according to reps for the show, broke the single-perf B.O. record at the Music Box Theater (with the evening show on May 4 earning close to $130,000).

Meanwhile, “Orphans” ($397,646) continued to slide, justifying its recently-announced May 19 closing, and ho-hum sales for “Jekyll and Hyde” ($398,919) similarly seemed to confirm that producers made the right decision in opting to end that show’s run early. “The Testament of Mary” ($301,343) exited Sunday, getting a boost from last-minute sales.

Overall, box office was a mixed bag of individual bumps and dips, with none of them particularly dramatic. Rialto cume came in at $24.6 million, almost exactly on par with the previous frame’s tally. Attendance was down slightly to 245,896.

Box office should continue to be healthy in the coming weeks, although Tony nominees will have to miss out on some revenue because of the comps they’ll hand out to Tony voters.

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