‘Long’ lines at B.O.; ‘Gypsy’ goes on

Peters' absence causes soldout perfs with return

The only lines longer than people trying to buy tickets to “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” were those returning them at “Gypsy.”

Bernadette Peters missed six of eight perfs last week due to a respiratory illness. Easing back into the run, she turned in soldout perfs Friday and Saturday nights, but skipped the matinee in between. A rep for “Gypsy” said the actress was expected to do a full eight this week.

Despite the doctor’s orders, the gossip and the backlash, “Gypsy” ($624,252) somehow kept its decline to a mere $12,289 drop from the previous session, and still managed to come up No. 7on the B.O. chart.

Up $26,702, “Long Day’s Journey” ($439,363) defied the usual opening-week press comp blahs. Its $83.35 average price ticket was the third highest on Broadway. Loaded with Tony noms, it looks poised to topple the numbers on the season’s other hit revival, “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune.” That Edie Falco/Stanley Tucci starrer did $450,000-$475,000 on any given nonholiday session last autumn.

So much for the bright newcomers.

Elsewhere, Broadway wasn’t looking nearly so robust. Its 32 shows brought in $13,933,375, the lowest numbers in three years for this early-May frame.

The overall tally fell $19,332, a tiny 0.14%, from the previous session. Only four productions showed marked improvement. Ready to close Sunday after a 15-year run, the historic “Les Miserables” ($853,505) climbed $93,877 in its penultimate week.

Nipping at the B.O. heels of “Long Day’s Journey,” the Al Pacino starrer “Salome” ($397,361) drew extremely well for a mere six perfs. Its receipts jumped $78,384 from the previous session.

Coming off its heavily comped opening week, “Bill Maher: Victory Begins at Home” ($171,296) gained $52,895. And “Man of La Mancha” ($527,335) jacked up its receipts with an added $33,642.

Under the top 10, more modest bumps were registered by shows in need of B.O. oomph: “Aida” ($483,570), “Cabaret” ($299,450), “Enchanted April” ($173,046), “The Look of Love” ($227,325), “The Play What I Wrote” ($188,138) and “Urinetown” ($200,525).

Taking four-figure tumbles in the opposite direction were “A Day in the Death of Joe Egg” ($259,923); “A Year With Frog and Toad” ($138,288); and “Urban Cowboy” ($67,150), which calls it quits Sunday after 60 perfs and 26 previews.

Down only $2,753, “Chicago” ($527,212) continues to get high on the movie version’s Oscar win.

For the second week in a row, “Life (x) 3” ($279,159) took a dip, down a sizable $24,789, and it won’t be seeing much of a Tony bounce.

Can a best play Tony nom rescue a show? “Take Me Out” ($186,644), and “Say Goodnight, Gracie” ($85,986) await the verdict.

Trouble among the poets: “La Boheme” ($537,492) fell out of the top 10, and its offspring “Rent” ($222,433) put in one of its lowest-grossing sessions to date.

In previews, ” ‘Master Harold’ . . . the Boys” ($148,824) joined the foray with its first eight perfs.

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