After the sock in the jaw that was Halloween, Broadway box office picked up considerably last week with nearly every show on the boards rising, including “On Your Feet!,” the musical about Emilio and Gloria Estefan that managed to report gains despite the fact that the show accommodated press performances and a comp-heavy opening night.
The rise at “On Your Feet!” ($1,070,197) might be the beginning of an upward swing, given that in the mixed reviews earned by the show, many of the major critics seemed to throw up their hands and admit the rhythm is probably gonna get you. Meanwhile, ultrahot “Hamilton” ($1,772,253 for nine) hit a new high and managed to come out on top of the Broadway chart for the first time, although it managed the feat by adding an extra ninth performance — a Democratic Party fundraiser at which Obama appeared. (Tickets were paid for by organizers of the event, and then resold for the benefit.)
Seemingly unfazed by some bad buzz, “China Doll” ($1,057,508 for six), the new play written by David Mamet and starring Al Pacino, once again topped $1 million in a week of only six preview performances. Broadway’s other starry new addition to the play slate, “Misery” ($967,742) with Bruce Willis and Laurie Metcalf, continued to show strength.
The other musical to bow last week, “Allegiance” ($420,978), predictably went down in its opening week; now the question is how much the show can get a boost from reviews that mostly recognized the production as a worthy project, if flawed in execution. On the other hand, “A View from the Bridge” ($406,719) seems poised to get a lift after its Nov. 12 opening, assuming the revival of the Arthur Miller play receives the kind of reviews it earned in London.
Among the fall’s more recent openings, musical “Dames at Sea” ($258,915) continued to struggle but “Spring Awakening” ($430,986) added some momentum. “Sylvia” ($387,731), the dog comedy starring Matthew Broderick, also gained some steam, as did “The Gin Game” ($400,232), starring Cicely Tyson and James Earl Jones. The one production to join the fray last week, Michael Flatley outing “Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games” ($231,662 for four), started slow.
Overall Broadway cume his $26.6 million for 34 shows on the boards, with attendance rising to 264,573, or 83% of overall capacity.
Looking ahead, all eyes will be on the latest musical from Andrew Lloyd Webber, “School of Rock,” to see whether the Webber name — familiar from megahits including Broadway’s longest running title, “The Phantom of the Opera” — and the well-known movie title will pack the house. Industry folks will also look with interest on the first week of “The Color Purple,” the Broadway revival starring Jennifer Hudson, starting previews Tuesday.