B’way tally slips sans Maher, ‘Cowboy’

Legiters project see-saw results with some gains, losses

Fewer shows, fewer bucks.

Not that Bill Maher and “Urban Cowboy” were packing them in. But without those two, Broadway’s overall tally retreated slightly to $15,133,099, down $608,168 or 3.86% from the previous session.

Of the 29 productions now running, 20 increased their receipts. Plays, however, always present a mixed B.O. picture over a holiday weekend, and this Memorial Day session was no exception.

No big swing

On that score, there were no big dollar swings in either direction. A few plays improved: “A Day in the Death of Joe Egg” ($294,748), “The Play What I Wrote” ($232,391), “Salome” ($425,468) and “Take Me Out” ($234,474), which put in its second best session to date.

And a few plays didn’t gain: “Enchanted April” ($216,706), “Life (x) 3″ ($301,748), ” ‘Master Harold’ … and the boys” ($181,536), “Say Goodnight, Gracie” ($112,741) and “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” ($553,727), with Vanessa Redgrave missing three perfs due to the death of her mother, Rachel Kempson.

Tuners in bloom

Tuners relished the long weekend. In a peculiar twist, “Hairspray” ($968,060) and “The Lion King” ($1,106,833) defied the general upward trend to experience minor downticks. But shed no tears: Both managed to sell out.

Down $19,798, “Look of Love” ($216,299) did only 65.1% capacity; it will close June 15.

The Roundabout’s more winning “Nine” ($611,733) also declined, off $15,683 but still managing 98.6% capacity.

Elsewhere under the Top 10, musicals saw big gains, little gains. At one end was “Beauty and the Beast” ($593,278), growing $97,768, and at the other was “Man of La Mancha” ($584,437), up just $11,066. In between stood “Cabaret” ($365,845), “Chicago” ($588,715), “The Phantom of the Opera” ($584,703), “Rent” ($382,685), “Urinetown” ($287,043) and “A Year With Frog and Toad” ($166,410).

Take note: Last week’s receipts for “Chicago,” “Phantom” and “Rent” marked an improvement over their respective grosses from Memorial Day weekend 2002, with the Kander & Ebb revival up a full six figures.

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