Dream week for ‘Bombay’ on B’way

32 shows increased biz by 4.25% for $15 mil grand total

The Tony noms presaged a nice recovery for Broadway. This week’s Tony tom-toms should push receipts even higher — and bring about one or two immediate closings to slighted shows.

Broadway’s 32 shows increased biz by $617,588 or 4.25% for a grand total of $15,153,444, which is a record for the early May time frame. Only 10 productions saw slippage at the box office.

In the top 10, there was much jockeying for position. “Wicked” ($1,092,029) and “The Lion King” ($1,091,767) flip-flopped. “Mamma Mia!” ($953,029) held steady. Up $41,180, “The Producers” ($825,464) got a second breath after the departure of Nathan and Matthew. “The Boy From Oz” ($812,000) drew on the strength of Hugh Jackman’s “Van Helsing.” And “Hairspray” ($810,867) dropped $109,297 after Harvey Fierstein’s first week off the job.

In its first full session of eight perfs, “Bombay Dreams” ($766,721) entered the chart at No. 7 and grew $201,038 to enjoy the week’s biggest uptick. The show didn’t take a Tony nom for musical, but then neither did “Aida” four years ago. In comparison, the Disney musical did somewhat softer biz right out of the box, grossing $713,181 in its first session of regular perfs.

Taking the No. 12 slot, “A Raisin in the Sun” ($526,224) was the big news below the top 10. For the second week in a row, the Sean Combs starrer set a house record at the Royale Theater, the revival’s receipts up $84,597. Gross potential looms at $645,664, which is close to what last summer’s hit revival, “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” did at the similar-size Plymouth Theater.

The play-revival boomlet continued with “Jumpers” ($358,378). Receipts were up $30,073 but its cap remained stuck at 76.4%, which compares with 96.1% for “Raisin.”

Richard Dreyfuss came back to “Sly Fox” ($331,376) after missing four perfs the previous week. His absence caused receipts to fall six figures. His return, however, created a rebound of only $12,651 last week. The show ran at a not-so-foxy capacity of 64.1%.

“Caroline, or Change” ($408,959) jumped $127,960 as national critics delivered a more positive verdict than the locals. Just for comparison, “Taboo” had receipts of $360,260 in its first week at a similar-size venue.

A closing notice helped “Aida” ($523,465), up $43,233, but not “Gypsy” ($344,283), which fell $6,246. Up $9,316, “Wonderful Town” ($403,903) reversed its downward trend, with several Tony noms to the rescue this week.

“Little Shop of Horrors” ($259,466) continued its slide, down $17,569, with no musical-revival nom to soften the blow.

Under the top 10, there were a few other shows with shrinking receipts: “Avenue Q” ($331,808), “Beauty and the Beast” ($507,966), “Golda’s Balcony” ($136,455), “Match” ($251,250), “Rent” ($285,192) and “Chicago” ($438,328), which sustained the biggest drop of the group, down $36,456 and performing at 82.3% capacity.

And a few grew: “Assassins” ($352,492), “42nd Street” ($530,202), “I Am My Own Wife” ($151,735), “Thoroughly Modern Millie” ($389,973) and “Twentieth Century” ($291,766) — no big movement with any of these. The Sondheim/Weidman revival showed the biggest increase, up $21,470 and doing 89.7% capacity at Studio 54.

“Frozen” ($97,280) went from six previews to eight heavily comped perfs last week, and had another $44,347 to show for it. The previewing “Sight Unseen” ($119,032) put in its first five. And “Prymate” ($41,093) opened Wednesday and closed Saturday.

Gerard leaves mag

Jeremy Gerard leaves New York on May 21 after eight years with the magazine, where he is features editor. He covered the cultural scene and wrote theater reviews during John Simon’s absence.

“It’s time to move on,” Gerard said. The editor-reporter had previously been with the New York Times and Variety.

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