B’way B.O. bust continues

'Dracula,' 'Hairspray,' '42nd Street' take biggest hits

Broadway’s disastrous Halloween session was followed by the double whammy of the election and the end of daylight-saving time.

While only four of the 27 shows failed to increase their receipts, the total tally of $12,001,564 rode on a 8.1% bump of $899,358, which hardly offset the $1.38 million decline of the previous week. In fact, much of election-week bounce can be attributed to the presence of three new productions: “Dame Edna” ($184,728 for four previews), “Democracy” ($273,582 for five) and “Whoopi” ($103,878 for four).

Although it’s always nice to see “Avenue Q” ($495,524) on the top 10 chart, it never bodes well for the health of Broadway that its half-million gross tops the receipts for such bigger productions as “Wonderful Town” ($478,788), “Chicago” ($451,399), “Fiddler on the Roof” ($426,995), “Bombay Dreams” ($399,191) and “Rent” ($303,311), all of which saw modest five-figure gains.

As for newer fare, “Dracula” ($255,043) took the week’s biggest hit, down $46,613. It was joined in the debit column by “Hairspray” ($742,894), “42nd Street” ($587,161) and “Golda’s Balcony” ($82,652), all of which endured less-sizable decreases.

Against the grain

For the past two weeks, “Brooklyn” ($364,847) has defied the general slump, its receipts up $28,829 to give the show its best session to date. Capacity stood at 83.5%, but its $52.42 average price ticket remains the lowest for any tuner but “Rent,” which got $50.93.

Elsewhere under the top 10, “Reckless” ($368,611) took the week’s prize for biggest bump, up $131,448 and doing 93.4% capacity. “Laugh Whore” ($157,215) grew its B.O. $30,863 despite doing one fewer perf. There were also gains for “Forever Tango” ($118,187), ” ‘Night Mother” ($178,061) and “Twelve Angry Men” ($306,259), which jumped $33,384.

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