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Broadway Box Office: ‘The Bridges of Madison County’ Goes Out with a Bang

Broadway musical “The Bridges of Madison County,” currently nominated for four Tony Awards, posted its highest B.O. numbers ever last week in the final stretch before the show’s May 18 closing.

“Bridges” sales came in at $590,791, up 50% from the previous sesh. That’s easily the highest weekly tally ever for the production, which earned some strong reviews but has languished at the box office. Although the tuner earned four Tony nods (including one for Jason Robert Brown’s score and another for lead actress Kelli O’Hara), the title missed out on a nomination for best musical, which is generally considered the only Tony that can truly influence sales.

The show’s final week of receipts won’t make the project much less of a financial loss for producers, but the surge of last-minute enthusiasm can at least assure producers that there are audiences who will likely want to see the show on the road. A national tour of “Bridges” is already planned for fall 2015.

Broadway overall posted gains last week, although a number of current Tony nominees reported slight declines that can be attributed in part to accommodating comps for Tony voters and other attendees of last week’s Broadway League conference. “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” ($656,020), for instance, downticked just a bit (although attendance topped 100%), as did “Aladdin” ($1,137,093) and “Beautiful” ($1,063,319). “After Midnight” ($555,630), however, slid by 15% with Fantasia Barrino in the midst of a return stint as the musical’s guest star.

The biggest drop of the frame was posted at “If/Then” ($812,712), which fell out of the millionaires’ club because topliner Idina Menzel missed four of the sesh’s eight perfs. All things considered, that $800,000-plus total is pretty solid for a production with such a high-profile star, suggesting that it’s not just Menzel that auds are turning out to see.

Among plays, Denzel Washington starrer “A Raisin in the Sun” ($1,183,010) remained the nonmusical to beat, although Bryan Cranston outing “All the Way” ($1,045,86o) was no slouch and James Franco-Chris O’Dowd outing “Of Mice and Men” ($875,771) held steady.

Overall Broadway cume came in at $30 million for 36 shows on the boards. Late-spring attendance climbed 12,000 to 296,277, or 88% of total capacity, while average price paid per ticket rang in at $101.30, about on par with what it was the previous week.

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