Broadway took its usual nap between Memorial Day and the Tonys fete. Actually, it was a slightly deeper B.O. sleep than usual, as receipts fell $1,724,838, or 11.40%, from the previous week.

Twenty-nine shows produced $13,408,261, with paid attendance coming in at 213,627. Although last week’s combined grosses set a record, the latter number is down 10,000-25,000 from recent Broadway seasons.

Clear away the noise about the old season’s record $720 million tally: Fact remains that few productions in Week One of the 2003-04 season look poised for a long run beyond the June 8 Tony Awards.

A paltry four shows improved on the Memorial Day session — and two of those apparently benefited from imminent closings.

‘Love’ works

“Look of Love” ($221,912) and “Salome” ($431,259) improved about $6,000 each, with the Al Pacino starrer only $18,000 under its gross potential for six performances.

Popular on Variety

More meaningful for the long run was the $16,837 bounce delivered to “Nine” ($628,570), which operated just $15,000 under its gross potential.

Even bigger news is the continued success of “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” ($603,178), up $49,451 and the first play to land on the Top 10 chart (No. 8) this year. Its cume for the first session of 2003-04 topped any play’s weekly gross from the 2002-03 season. (Old record holder: “Long Day’s Journey” taking in $553,727 during May 18-25.) Amazingly, the show’s average price ticket of $84.38 is currently second highest on Broadway, just under the $84.72 recorded for “Hairspray” ($969,876), which sold out, as did “Nine.” “Journey” might have hit 100% cap, too, but Vanessa Redgrave was out one perf due to the death of her mother, Rachel Kempson.


All other shows saw declines, some huge. For the first time in its one-year-plus run, “Thoroughly Modern Millie” ($529,908) fell off the Top Ten chart completely, dropping $174,934 to the No. 11 spot.

Now the longest-running show on Broadway, “The Phantom of the Opera” ($524,567) went to No. 12 despite a $60,136 plunge at the box office.

That decline looks robust compared with the six-figure plummets afflicting “Aida” ($498,264), “Beauty and the Beast” ($390,149), “42nd Street” ($588,491), “La Boheme” ($486,085), “Man of La Mancha” ($481,070) and “Rent” ($280,069).

Under the Top 10, five-figure retreats put several shows within close range of their weakest numbers to date: “Cabaret” ($297,909), “Enchanted April” ($143,158), “Life (x) 3” ($231,473), “Say Goodnight, Gracie” ($91,941), “Urinetown” ($246,189) and “Year With Frog and Toad” ($147,984).

Add to that list the B.O.-baffling drama known as “Take Me Out” ($186,792), which slid $47,682, despite winning a ton of awards last month. Will the Tony help?