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Labor Day boosts Broadway box office

September slump is coming

NEW YORK– Broadway perked up in week 15 (Aug. 30-Sept. 5), with the Labor Day weekend helping to ring in a bit more biz than the prior frame.

The following week, of course, usually brings the dreaded September slump, marked in previous years by a precipitous drop in weekly sales.

This year the falloff looks likely to be less severe — if only because the B.O. seems to have begun its seasonal decline earlier than usual.

For the moment, the Main Stem held steady, with total sales up about $500,000 to $16.7 million for the 22 shows on the boards.

Many individual productions posted gains, although few were huge — except for the leap made by “The Addams Family” ($1,079,425), vaulting upward by more than $300,000 thanks to Nathan Lane’s return from vacation. “Promises, Promises” ($1,006,844) also was back in the millionaires’ club.

Last-minute sales helped “Come Fly Away” ($703,952) step up by about 11% in its final frame on the boards, while the slow-burning “Memphis” ($900,642) got a bit hotter.

The dips posted over the frame were almost entirely unremarkable. “Mary Poppins” ($844,188) has come down from its summer stint in the highest heights.

One new production joined Broadway’s fall lineup, with the Roundabout’s revival of “Mrs. Warren’s Profession” ($134,547) playing its first five previews. The 21 musicals grossed $16,534,500 for 99.2% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 185,791 at 79.5% capacity and average paid admission of $89.00.

The one play grossed 0.8% of the Broadway total, with attendance of 3,230 at 87.3% capacity and average paid admission of $41.66.

Average paid admission was $88.19 for all shows.