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‘Spring’ awakens at box office

Sales rise by $150,000 after Tony nominations

What a difference 11 Tony noms makes.

Weekly sales for “Spring Awakening” ($608,317) shot up by more than $150,000 last week, goosed by a Tony nomination haul that included nods for tuner, score, book, acting and design.

Boon for “Spring” was part of an overall upward trend on the Rialto, which, in a traditional late-May bump fueled by awards hype, rose by $1.1 million to gross $20.7 million from 35 shows on the boards.

The majority of Rialto productions saw sales increases, with hefty rises at “Chicago” ($546,238), up by more than $100,000, and “Monty Python’s Spamalot” ($776,364), climbing by $90,000.

Solid five-figure gains were posted by ten-time Tony nominee “Grey Gardens” ($387,395), as well as “The Drowsy Chaperone” ($663,051) and “Avenue Q” ($377,892).

New tuner “Legally Blonde” ($864,430) continued to climb, while “The Color Purple” ($1,016,304) stayed strong thanks to Fantasia’s well-reviewed turn in the lead role. (“Purple” also is doing big biz in Chicago, where the production there will extend by six weeks.)

“Mary Poppins” ($1,038,470) saw the biggest dip of the week, falling $65,000 but still bringing in plenty of ducats. Only other significant drop over the frame was at “The Pirate Queen” ($598,688), sliding by about $50,000.

“The Coast of Utopia,” which ended its extended run May 13, wasn’t around to enjoy a sales boost from the kudos buzz, but fellow play nominees “Frost/Nixon” ($483,640) continued its steady rise, while “Radio Golf” ($194,551) was up a bit.

“Coram Boy” ($274,853), which recently posted a closing notice for May 27, fell off slightly, and “Journey’s End” ($104,532), which will close on June 10 after a long struggle at the box office, was up somewhat but still played to only about 25% capacity.

Judging from previous years, sales seem likely to remain strong next week, as trophy speculation helps convince tourists to check out a Broadway show while they’re in town for Memorial Day weekend.

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