Broadway sees gradual slippage

Soon-to-close 'South Pacific' bucks downward trend

Broadway was afflicted with a slight case of late-summer deflation last week, with sales at the majority of productions slipping a bit compared to the prior frame.

Only a few shows managed to boost their take more than $10,000, and all three of them were on their way out.

Lincoln Center Theater’s revival of “South Pacific” ($681,968), which shutters Aug. 22, got the biggest boost of last-minute biz, climbing $80,000 (or 13%). “Come Fly Away” ($581,541), shuttering Sept. 5, and “Lend Me a Tenor” ($435,764), which closed Sunday, were both up by about $30,000.

Otherwise, most shows posted losses compared to the previous week. It’s not unusual for B.O. to slip gradually in the run-up to Labor Day, when receipts traditionally take a major hit thanks to back-to-school distractions.

Still, none of the drops were major, and seven shows held on to spots in the millionaires’ club. One of the millionaires to join the boards last season, “Promises, Promises” ($1,093,510), just announced it will keep topliners Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenoweth together through the lucrative Thanksgiving holidays and beyond, with Chenoweth adding three months to her contract and now exiting the show Dec. 26.

Overall sales fell about $345,000 to $19.2 million for 24 shows on the boards. That cume is down a bit from the same week in 2009, although the week’s attendance of 214,889 was up by about 9,000 over last year’s sesh, when 21 shows were playing.

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