The combination of mid-March tourism and newly launched productions put a little spring in Broadway’s step last week, as both sales and attendance took a big step up.
Among the new shows crowding the boards, “Finding Neverland” ($1,004,171 for seven previews) flew into the Top 10 in its first almost-full week on the boards, and historical marathon “Wolf Hall Parts I & II” ($419,780 for four previews), pictured above, looked relatively robust for the first half-week of a period piece with no stars and a TV adaptation of the same story about to air on PBS.
“Gigi” ($331,484 for four previews) started slower, indicating that the title and its star Vanessa Hudgens don’t have the selling power to fill the house right off the bat, and “It Shoulda Been You” ($293,768 for six previews), the new musical starring Tyne Daly and directed by David Hyde Pierce, began even more modestly. New play “Hand to God” ($217,974) is looking like it might need a hand from critics to get people in the door, although sales during previews will be tamped down by the show’s current low-price ticket offer.
“The King and I” ($814,492), however, had some heft for a not-for-profit production, and “An American in Paris” ($737,241 for 6 previews) showed promise. Meanwhile, Bill Nighy-Carey Mulligan starrer “Skylight” ($581,494 for seven previews) looks to be shaping up solidly, and Helen Mirren topliner “The Audience” ($1,173,331 for seven performances) had its best week yet, playing to standing-room-only crowds and swimming right up behind Larry David juggernaut “Fish in the Dark” ($1,192,234) on the week’s chart.
Almost every single individual title now running climbed in a spring-break week that saw Broadway’s overall attendance shoot up by 35,000 to 260,094 (or 88% of total capacity), while cumulative box office climbed by more than $3 million to $26.3 million for 32 productions on the boards.
Only a couple of shows declined, including “It’s Only a Play” ($420,606), although that one could uptick again once Nathan Lane returns to the show at the end of the month. “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” ($421,691) took a notable tumble, likely an indicator that the edgy title doesn’t hold much sway with out-of-towners (at least not without Neil Patrick Harris in the lead role).
One show exited — Idina Menzel topliner “If/Then” ($857,730), which saw a nice bump thanks to last-minute sales. Six more shows have yet to start previews in the coming weeks, with “Something Rotten!” beginning tonight and “Fun Home,” “Doctor Zhivago” and “The Visit” all on the way by the time the weekend rolls around.