‘April,’ ‘Boheme’ get a bounce from Tony

Noms lead to spring fling for Broadway B.O.

The Tony nominations helped to jolt Broadway out of its spring stupor. For the first time in weeks, the overall tally set a record. Thirty-two shows brought in $15,741,267, an increase of $1,807,892 or 13% from the previous week.

Dollar-wise, it looked like a winner. Paid attendance, however, told a different story. Last week’s 246,722 was off 1,000 from a year ago, and down nearly 30,000 from mid-May 2000.

On the positive side, only two shows took a B.O. dip. Off $3,554 but managing 99.9% capacity, “Nine” ($627,416) performed just $15,000 under its gross potential. And putting in its 6,680th and last perf, “Les Miserables” ($803,296) took a $50,209 hit thanks to all those final week freebies.

What are Tony nominations worth? Depends on your show. “Frog and Toad” ($147,048) got a best musical nom, but grew a minor $8,760. Likewise, the special-event nod for “The Play What I Wrote” ($205,792) resulted in only a $17,654 gain. Four Tony noms for “Joe Egg” ($276,314) produced a relatively mild $16,391 uptick. And considering its ton of awards for best play, “Take Me Out” ($212,701) continued to play in the ball park, up only $26,057. Its Tony bounce replicated the $26,910 gain for another best-play nom, “Say Goodnight Gracie” ($112,896).

So go figure. Except for Linda Emond’s featured actress nom, Tony shut out “Life (x) 3” ($311,468), which managed a $32,309 jump.

Is Tony a washout? The producers of “Enchanted April” ($238,495) think not after its best play nom produced a blossom of $64,449. The much-nommed “La Boheme” ($617,135) and “Movin’ Out” ($628,262) also benefited, up $79,643 and $87,629, respectively. “Man of La Mancha” ($573,371) improved somewhat less, up $46,036.

Harder to judge is Tony’s effect on such nommed shows as “Bill Maher: Victory Begins at Home” ($244,164), up $72,868, and “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” ($592,633), up a huge $153,270. Both shows came off heavily comped opening weeks. For the record, last week’s take for “Journey” made it the top grossing session for any play this season. Those numbers displaced the $528,274 that “Frankie and Johnny” took in for Xmas week 2002.

No. 2 play for the week, “Salome” ($416,858) continued to look robust for just 6 perfs.

Tony or tonsils: “Gypsy” ($737,785) jumped $113,533, its splurge the likely result of Bernadette Peters finally putting in a full eight perfs.

Elsewhere, Tony had absolutely nothing to do with the B.O. as several longrunning shows saw significant increases. Under the Top Ten, “Rent” ($341,412) welcomed Frenchie Davis of “American Idol” to its cast, its receipts rising $118,979.

Five-figure infusions gave new life to warhorses like “Aida” ($582,155), “Beauty and the Beast” ($495,510), “Cabaret” ($336,517), “Chicago” ($571,541) and “Urinetown” ($255,661), with “The Phantom of the Opera” ($529,287) doing somewhat better, up $104,926.

In previews, “Master Harold” ($191,588) rose $42,764 from the previous week.

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