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B’way Balancing Act

B.O. up slightly; 'Mamma' the dancing queen

Broadway marked time as its overall B.O. for 27 shows rose a minuscule 0.09%, or $11,666, for a final $11,932,979. A year ago, that figure stood not much higher at $12,047,355 for 28 productions.

Despite the uptick, 18 shows experienced a decline. Doing regular-perf duty, only “Cabaret” (up $16,066), “Dance of Death” (up $12,470), “Proof” (up $8,787) and “Rent” (up $2,857) defied the downward trend to post modest gains. Add to that list the $192,858 explosion for “Mamma Mia!,” which had added two perfs after its opening night the previous week. Performing at 94% capacity for eight performances, the Abba musical claimed $848,882 on its gross potential of $922,943.

Three shows in previews also improved: “45 Seconds From Broadway” jumped $24,889 to close at $328,831. “Noises Off” rang up a final $262,471 after posting a $17,661 uptick, while “The Women” chatted up another $29,211 to finish with $287,891. Also, “QED” at Lincoln Center began its two-perf-a-week sked, with $61,762 to show for it.

Those heavily comped opening weeks did not cause hemorrhaging at either “By Jeeves” or “Thou Shalt Not.” Andrew Lloyd Webber’s tiny tuner dropped $15,769 to close with $180,896, and Harry Connick Jr.’s first musical fell $9,241 to finish with $296,697. But respective gross potentials of $369,280 and $461,144 loomed large.

As for everyone else, the downward spirals were middling to insignificant. “Hedda Gabler” stood in place at $239,077, falling a mere $1,911 from the previous week. And performing at 94.4% capacity, “Urinetown” held strong, down $11,698 for a $341,127 finish on its potential of $386,346.

Then there was “The Music Man,” which took the biggest hit, down $59,512 to close with an ominous $360,710.

“The Lion King” and “The Producers” saw four-figure declines but managed to do 101% biz.

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