Broadway Box Office: Larry David Goes Out on a High

Fish in the Dark Broadway sales
Joan Marcus

Larry David’s Broadway comedy “Fish in the Dark” finished up the writer-director’s run in the play with a new high, breaking the sales record at the Cort Theater set by the show earlier in its run.

With Broadway now waiting to see how last night’s Tony Awards will affect sales at the winning shows this week, the industry can look back at a week that saw an overall rise in sales, with individual bumps reported at productions that were nominated — such as “An American in Paris” ($1,368,734) and “Fun Home” ($652,930) — as well as at shows that weren’t, including “Fish” and “Finding Neverland” ($1,103,830).

“Fish in the Dark” ($1,246,196) was the top-grossing play on the boards last week, ahead of another of the spring’s nonmusical blockbusters, “The Audience” ($1,114,361), starring recently crowned Tony winner Helen Mirren. “Fish,” which has grossed nearly $21 million since it began performances in February, saw a surge in ticket demand for the final week of David’s appearance in the show, which he exited as of Sunday. Jason Alexander, who touted his upcoming appearance in “Fish” during the Tony Awards telecast, steps into the play’s lead role Tuesday.

Another play, Nathan Lane topliner “It’s Only a Play” ($669,145), closed last week to a spike in last-minute business, but the tally didn’t approach the highs the show had attained in the fall when its entire original cast was intact. Manhattan Theater Club’s nonprofit production of “Airline Highway” ($169,126) also closed Sunday.

The biggest gain of the week, in any event, was reported not at a Tony winner but at the first show of the 2015-16 season, “An Act of God” ($843,731) starring Jim Parsons. Riding on the high praise of critics, the comedy posted its best weekly figure yet, and a particularly strong sum for a production in a relatively small theater.

“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” ($800,264), the play that’s managed to carve out a successful run on Broadway despite an unfamiliar title and a cast with no big-name stars, also stepped up nicely. It’ll only rise further in the wake of last night’s five Tony wins, including one for best play and another for lead actor Alex Sharp.

Also getting a healthy bump was “Skylight” ($831,694), posting a best-ever total even before the show took home the Tony last night for play revival. (“Skylight,” like “Fish in the Dark,” was produced by Scott Rudin.)

Overall Broadway sales climbed by about $800,000 to $27.7 million for 33 shows on the boards, with attendance rising a bit to 268,815, or 85% of the Street’s overall capacity. Thus begins the summer boom time on Broadway, thanks to warm-weather tourists flooding the city, so producers, both Tony winning and not, can look forward to rising traffic in the coming weeks.

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  1. CMarks says:

    How much longer can “Gigi” & “The Visit” hold on? Both shows are selling well below capacity (about 50%) and, although both had numbers on the Tony broadcast, neither brought home an award (“Gigi” wan’t even in the running). “The Visit”, reported to Broadway favorite Chita Rivera’s last show, is a dark and difficult show to sell and “Gigi” is much too big to survive financially at less than $500K per week. Maybe both are hoping to hold out through summer tourist season but I’ll be surprised if either of them make it.

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