B’way tuners beat heat and sell seats

Attendance, receipts outpace '99

Summer 2000 continues to significantly outpace last year’s biz on Broadway. The second week in August saw a tally of $12,692,763, handily beating the year-earlier week’s $10,346,518.

And you can’t credit inflation. Attendance jumped to 222,418 from 200,604 a year ago.

The reason could be bigger musicals and no tiny tuners, such as 1999’s low-grossing “Kat and the Kings,” “It Ain’t Nothing but the Blues” and, late in its extremely long run, “Smokey Joe’s Cafe.” Or is the upturn due to Gotham’s currently mild, city-friendly weather?

For the week of Aug. 7-13, B.O. improved from the previous session, rising $336,753, or 2.7%. Box office for “Beauty and the Beast” said it all: The musical’s total dropped a mere $12,641, Broadway’s biggest decline last week. Other shows in the minus zone — “Aida,” “Dirty Blonde,” “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Les Miserables” — registered small three- or four-figure declines.

The other 19 productions on the boards improved.

Closing sales

If there’s something negative to say about August B.O., it’s that closing notices were the most effective marketing tool. With only five weeks to go in its run, “Cats” produced another $51,585 to close at $643,905, performing at 97.62% cap. Closing Dec. 31, “Miss Saigon” also saw a marked improvement, rising $47,667 for a $493,595 final. Capacity was at 76.49%.

In its very last week of performances, “The Real Thing” jumped $68,509 to capture its best week ever: $372,794 on a gross potential of $494,138. Producers of the Tom Stoppard revival report that the show has recouped its original investment.

“Aida” and “The Lion King” sold out, with “Contact” and “Kiss Me, Kate” at 99%-plus capacity. Nearly as fabulous were the cap figures for “Cabaret” (95.53%), “The Man Who Came to Dinner” (96.64%) and “Rent” (97.75%).

More Legit

  • Because of Winn Dixie review

    Regional Theater Review: 'Because of Winn Dixie,' the Musical

    Watching the musical “Because of Winn Dixie” at Goodspeed Musicals in East Haddam, Conn., it’s hard not to think of another show that premiered in the same regional theater 43 years ago. It, too, featured a scruffy stray dog, a lonely-but-enterprising young girl and a closed-off daddy who finally opens up. But “Winn Dixie,” based [...]


    Off Broadway Review: 'Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow'

    There’s something about Anton Chekhov’s whiny sisters that invites comic sendups of “Three Sisters” like the one Halley Feiffer wrote on commission for the Williamstown Theater Festival. Transferred to MCC Theater’s new Off Broadway space and playing in the round in a black box with limited seating capacity, the crafty show feels intimate and familiar. [...]

  • the way she spoke review

    Off Broadway Review: 'The Way She Spoke' With Kate del Castillo

    Since the 1990s, scores of women in Juarez, Mexico have been mutilated, raped, and murdered at such a rate that some have called it an epidemic of femicide—killing women and girls solely because they are women. Isaac Gomez’s play “the way she spoke,” produced Off Broadway by Audible and starring Kate del Castillo, confronts the [...]


    Brian Cox Playing LBJ in Broadway Run of 'The Great Society'

    Brian Cox will play President Lyndon Johnson in the Broadway run of “The Great Society,” playwright Robert Schenkkan’s follow-up to “All the Way.” The role of Johnson, a crude, but visionary politician who used the office of the presidency to pass landmark civil rights legislation and social programs, was originally played by Bryan Cranston in [...]

  • Paul McCartney Has Penned Score for

    Paul McCartney Has Been Secretly Writing an 'It's a Wonderful Life' Musical

    The pop superstar who once released a movie and album called “Give My Regards to Broad Street” really does have designs on Broadway, after all. It was revealed Wednesday that Paul McCartney has already written a song score for a stage musical adaptation of the 1946 Frank Capra film classic “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The [...]

  • The Night of the Iguana review

    West End Review: 'The Night of the Iguana' With Clive Owen

    If Tennessee Williams is the poet laureate of lost souls, none of his characters as are off-grid as the restless travelers trying to make it through his little-seen 1961 play, “The Night of the Iguana.” Holed up in a remote Mexican homestay, its ragtag itinerants live hand-to-mouth, day by day, as they seek refuge from [...]

  • Moulin Rouge Broadway

    Listen: The Special Sauce in Broadway's 'Moulin Rouge!'

    There are songs in the new Broadway version of “Moulin Rouge!” that weren’t in Baz Luhrmann’s hit movie — but you probably know them anyway. They’re popular tunes by superstars like Beyoncé, Adele and Rihanna, released after the 2001 movie came out, and they’ll probably unleash a flood of memories and associations in every audience [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content