Tonys provide B.O. boost

8% rise this year matches last year's bump

NEW YORK — Last season, the Tonys brought an 8.8% increase in B.O. In 2000, the awards telecast produced a nearly identical 8.2% uptick. Overall, biz is better now, with a $14,335,451 total for 2000’s Week 2 (June 5-11), as opposed to $12,395,615 a year ago.

Box office improved for all but five of the 33 shows on the boards. Even those that shuttered — “Taller Than a Dwarf” (up $14,538), “Uncle Vanya” (up $14,235) and “The Wild Party” (up $78,904) — earned more coin. The Elaine May comedy went out at $178,129, Anton Chekhov’s play at $268,007 and Michael John LaChiusa’s musical at $339,247. The tuner’s final week proved to be its best.

The Tony’s four big winners responded nicely at the box office: “Contact” (up $16,357), “Copenhagen” (up $71,849), “Kiss Me, Kate” (up $66,542) and “The Real Thing” (up $74,694). “Contact” and “Copenhagen” had their best sessions ever, coming in at $602,884 and $346,742, respectively. Dame Edna’s scene-stealing at the Tonys also did the trick. Her “Royal Tour” rose $62,076.

‘Aida’ adds aud

Four Tonys for “Aida” brought a $139,240 surge, although much of that came from the show’s return to an eight-perf sked last week. Still, its closing $795,052 was a new high for the tuner.

“The Music Man” failed to go gold at the Tonys. Its box office, though, told a different story: The musical kicked up an additional $84,140 to finish at $603,620 on a gross potential of $732,133, giving the show its best numbers to date.

Multi-nominated “Swing!” also came up empty handed at the awards, but not elsewhere. It shot up $81,412 for a final $406,249 on a potential of $782,586.

Sold-out shows

While there were no Tonys for John C. Reilly and Philip Seymour Hoffman, their penultimate week in “True West” gave the production its first sold-out session. After gaining $20,020, the Sam Shepard performed at 100.63% capacity. “The Lion King” was the other sold-out show, with “Aida,” “Cats” and “Contact” all performing just under 100% cap.

The long-running “Annie Get Your Gun” hit 91.39% capacity, after gaining a phenomenal $104,943 over the previous session.

Three shows were down marginally — “Fosse,” “The Lion King” and “The Ride Down Mt. Morgan” — with “Les Miserables” sliding a more substantial $23,547. “Jesus Christ Superstar” did not get a bounce from its Tony appearance. The Andrew Lloyd Webber declined $23,424 to close at $403,540 on a gross potential of $921,776. It performed at 52.79% cap. Of those shows in regular perfs, only “Taller Than a Dwarf” (50.45%) and “The Ride Down Mt. Morgan” (51.94%) saw lower capacity figures.

In previews, Kelsey Grammer’s turn in “Macbeth” did $99,156 for five performances.

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