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‘Liza’ lights up Broadway box office

Broadway Grosses

NEW YORK — Holiday engagements did gangbusters in Week 29 (Dec. 8-14), with limited runs of “White Christmas” and “Liza’s at the Palace” stepping up sales significantly in a frame that saw box office at most productions slip.

“White Christmas” ($1,489,184) even managed to knock “Wicked” ($1,430,967) out of its habitual No. 1 spot on the top 10. “Christmas” was helped along, of course, by the fact that it played nine perfs vs. the eight logged by “Wicked,” although weekly audience capacity for “Christmas” ended up only slightly higher than “Wicked” due to the fact that the Marquis Theater, the “Christmas” venue, seats about 200 fewer theatergoers than the Gershwin does for “Wicked.”

The tally for “Liza” ($660,699) puts the show just outside the top 10, but the production raked in that much coin for just four perfs, playing to houses that averaged about 94% capacity.

This year’s Tony winners also retained auds, with winning tuner “In the Heights” ($814,783) and tuner revival “South Pacific” ($926,002) both on the rise.

Also posting gains were soon-to-close shows getting an infusion of last-minute biz before they shutter in January, including “Monty Python’s Spamalot” ($576,974), “Spring Awakening” ($343,049) and “13” ($268,319).

Otherwise, sales generally dipped, with total cume slipping about $630,000 to $19.7 million for 32 shows on the boards (or $20.3 million including estimates for “Young Frankenstein”).

Largest tumbles were taken by “The Little Mermaid” ($724,570) and “Grease” ($491,496), both of which were down by more than $100,000. “Shrek the Musical” ($543,355) also saw a steep drop during a week that accommodated the new tuner’s press perfs and opening night.

Only production to shutter last week was “A Man for All Seasons” ($297,728), which ended its limited run Dec. 14.

The 24 musicals grossed $16,330,862 for 82.7% of the Broadway total, with an attendance of 191,496 at 78.9% capacity and average paid admission of $85.28.

The nine plays grossed $3,413,882 for 17.3% of the Broadway total, with an attendance of 47,011 at 78.5% capacity and average paid admission of $72.62.

Average paid admission was $82.78 for all shows.

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