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‘Spamalot’ gives B.O. the full Monty

Python play lifts B'way biz

Here’s what a potential blockbuster looks like just out of the gate: In its first seven previews at the Shubert Theater (1,463 seats), the Monty Python-derived “Spamalot” grossed $719,424.

Almost four years ago to the date, “The Producers” did $825,335 in its first seven at the considerably larger St. James (1,706 seats). Back then, “The Producers” charged $90 top, which upon opening rose to Broadway’s current $100 high.

“Spamalot” didn’t suck up all the B.O. oxygen over the Presidents’ Day holiday weekend, though. Receipts for 24 productions hit $14,239,737, up $2,242,243 –or 18.69% — from the previous session. Despite the awesome uptick, last year’s mid-February session continues to hold the $15.06 million record for this time frame. Paid attendance then came to 233,364, which dwarfs last week’s 204,813.

Unlike Broadway’s 23 other current shows, “Brooklyn” ($237,713) didn’t see an increase in its numbers — and for good reason. Receipts there fell $15,648 due to a reduced seven-perf sked. Both Ramona Keller and her understudy, Haneefah Wood, became ill Saturday, resulting in cancellation of the matinee. Romelda T. Benjamin, Keller’s sub from the show’s Denver production, performed the two remaining weekend perfs.

Elsewhere, there were nothing but improved tallies.

Up $170,893, “Movin’ Out” ($671,303) scored the biggest gain, which landed it the No. 11 slot on the chart.

In descending order on the top 10, other shows benefited from solid five-figure bumps: “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” ($599,527), “Chicago” ($596,435), “La Cage aux Folles” ($583,198), “Avenue Q” ($492,341) and “Rent” ($473,722).

Next in line, the new tuners “Little Women” ($460,727) and “Good Vibrations” ($348,738) were up $60,612 and $18,841, respectively. The Beach Boys show performed at 57.4% capacity, the lowest of any show on the boards.

Plays don’t always improve over holiday sessions, but “Democracy” ($327,629) grew an impressive $64,784.

Smaller bumps affected “Twelve Angry Men” ($295,780), “Dame Edna: Back With a Vengeance” ($295,062) and “Brooklyn Boy” ($221,337).

“All Shook Up” ($95,406) put in its first preview.

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