Daniel Radcliffe made a little Broadway box office magic last week, pulling in robust numbers in the first two previews of “The Cripple of Inishmaan” during a frame that saw springtime sales and attendance rise overall.
For many non-musical plays, the two-perf “Inishmaan” tally of $155,235 would be solid but not great, but it’s more impressive when you take into account the fact that producers of the Martin McDonagh play are selling all balcony seats for $27 a pop — a pricing-accessibility initiative that mirrors the one offered by producers of “Twelfth Night/Richard III” earlier this season. Attendance at “Inishmaan” came in at near capacity.
Radcliffe’s last Broadway gig, the 2011 revival of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” showed the former “Harry Potter” thesp could make rain at the box office, although his earlier Rialto outing, “Equus” in 2008, proved too much of a stretch away from his “Potter” fan base to pull in major crowds.
Several other of Broadway’s spring offerings continued to gather B.O. momentum last week, with the Denzel Washington starrer “A Raisin in the Sun” ($1,182,511) muscling up the week’s Top 10 chart to rank the highest of any of this season’s new shows, ahead of two more hot tickets that recently opened, “Aladdin” ($1,178,422) and “Les Miserables” ($1,147,961).
Neil Patrick Harris outing “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” ($884,092 for seven previews) also picked up steam, while Idina Menzel topliner “If/Then” ($964,759) held steady despite the show’s mixed reviews. “Beautiful” ($917,392) continued an upswing that started the prior week, and “Bullets Over Broadway” ($813,145) managed to rise in a week that accommodated press performances and a heavily-comped opening night.
Will Eno play “The Realistic Joneses” ($518,159), with a cast of familiar faces including Michael C. Hall and Toni Collette, got a significant sales boost of more than 25% following the strong reviews it garnered in its April 6 opening, while the James Franco-Chris O’Dowd starrer “Of Mice and Men” ($796,078) downticked a bit thanks to press performances ahead of its April 16 opening.
The previewing revival of “Cabaret” ($667,721), starring Michelle Williams and Alan Cumming, also stepped up and posted healthy sales for a nonprofit title.
With Broadway business waxing prior to Easter — a holiday that can sometimes serve as a big-money finale to the Street’s spring break season — overall sales rose $1.7 million to ring in at $28.6 million for 37 shows on the boards. Attendance climbed almost 10,000 to 288,358.
Not all spring additions to the Broadway slate have hit gold, as play “The Velocity of Autumn” ($100,056) earned just 13.5% of its gross capacity and “The Bridges of Madison County” ($322,366) registered slight slippage. “Rocky” ($754,394) sold about on par as it did the prior frame.
“Inishmaan” marks the final addition to the Rialto lineup before the April 24 Tony eligibility cutoff. The coming week and a half will see a slew of openings — including “Of Mice and Men,” “Cabaret,” “Hedwig,” “Act One” ($309,452), “Violet” ($258,167) and “Inishmaan” — in the annual crush just before the announcement of the Tony nominations, this year set for April 29.