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Broadway Box Office: Tony Nominations Move the Needle at ‘Gentleman’s Guide,’ ‘Hedwig’

Notching a beltful of Tony nominations doesn’t bring the same enduring sales spike as an award itself, but it helps: “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” and “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” the two titles to rack up the most nods from last week’s nominations announcement, both got a nice B.O. boost last week — enough for “Hedwig” to set a new house record at the Belasco Theater.

With ten noms,  “Gentleman’s Guide” climbed to $580,279 — not a blockbuster number, but still a week-on-week rise of 23% to a tally that ranks, out of the show’s entire six-month run so far, second only to its Christmas-week peak of about $815,000. Last week’s wrap — i.e., total receipts including advance sales — hit $1.3 million, with $370,000 of it coming from the day of the nominations, according to reps for the show.

“Hedwig,” the Neil Patrick Harris starrer that racked up eight nods, came within spitting distance of $1 million — $993,474 — from seven perfs rather than the traditional eight. That’s a major jump from the prior frame’s tally, which was kept down by the show’s heavily comped opening night and post-opening press perfs. Last week’s tally breaks the record set at the 1,007-seat theater earlier in the season by “Twelfth Night/Richard III,” which played eight shows a week (but also offered a healthy number of its seats for $25 each).

The majority of shows on the Street declined, a little for some or a lot for the shows most likely to benefit from tourist biz. Overall Rialto cume slipped by about $2.5 million to $29.2 million for 37 shows on the boards. With city visitors on a slow wane following the Easter boom in biz, attendance fell by 17,000 to 290,507.

Nonetheless, this spring’s strongest performers — Denzel Washington topliner “A Raisin in the Sun” ($1,190,876), “Aladdin” ($1,176,765), “Les Miserables” ($1,0870,994) and Carole King tuner “Beautiful” ($1,036,646) — all held on to their spots in the Top 10, while Bryan Cranston outing “All the Way” ($1,014,071), joined them there after snagging two Tony noms.

Sales barely budged, however, for “Bullets Over Broadway” ($950,052), nommed in six different categories. “If/Then” ($927,814), tapped for two, stayed plenty healthy but still reported a wide gap between the previous week’s boffo tally and last week’s — a discrepancy that suggests the Idina Menzel starrer gets a lot of business from out-of-towners, which is unusual for a new show with an unfamiliar title.

Among the season’s other new musicals, “After Midnight” ($523,053) climbed a bit and Audra McDonald vehicle “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill” ($490,737) stayed even, but “Rocky” ($707,891) slipped — as did “The Bridges of Madison County” ($286,948), which has been posting weekly tallies low enough to prompt producers to shutter the show May 18.

Play “Of Mice and Men” ($864,014), starring James Franco and Tony-nommed Chris O’Dowd, remained robust, and “The Realistic Joneses” ($605,288) — left out of the nominations entirely — stayed steady. “The Velocity of Autumn” ($130,333), nominated for Estelle Parson’s lead perf, remained at the bottom of the chart in its final week on the boards, while “Mothers and Sons” ($172,916), with two nods, slipped.

The Main Stem cume will likely soften further in the coming frames as the Tony hoopla takes a breather before the June 8 awards. Look for Memorial Day weekend to get Broadway’s blood flowing again.

 

 

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