Frosh fuel B’way box office

'Desert,' 'Chinglish' pace pack of four new productions

Broadway box office gained some steam last week as four new productions began previews and “Follies” returned to the millionaires’ club.

“Other Desert Cities” ($334,839 for six previews), “Chinglish” ($305,443 for eight), “Godspell” ($268,641 for six) and “Venus in Fur” ($157,454 for five) all joined the fray, with “Desert Cities” debuting impressively for a nonprofit play production, powered by a well-reviewed Off Broadway stint last season and a cast that includes recognizable faces Rachel Griffiths, Stacy Keach and Stockard Channing. Attendance for that one came close to 98%.

“Chinglish” logged decent numbers for a show that’s just beginning to carve out a New York profile, while well-known title “Godspell” started modestly, logging attendance of just under 80% of capacity.

“Follies” ($1,037,906), which reported a dip two weeks ago likely prompted by a flurry of soon-to-expire discount ducat prices, jumped back up over the $1 million mark, continuing to stand out as an unusually strong-selling production of a Stephen Sondheim musical. Also rising notably was Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett starrer “The Mountaintop” ($659,680), climbing some 24% over the prior frame despite the heavily-comped opening night Oct. 13.

Meanwhile, any worries that Broadway biz would take a hit from the Occupy Wall Street demonstration, which decamped over the weekend to Times Square for a temporary gathering, proved unfounded. “Priscilla Queen of Desert” ($860,673), for instance, rose by more than $100,000, fueled by an appearance earlier in the week on Rosie O’Donnell’s new talkshow. “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” ($1,574,705) also stepped up by about the same amount, while “Man and Boy” ($287,334) shot up by 48% in the wake of strong reviews for Frank Langella’s star turn.

Rialto cume hit $21,328,673 for 26 shows on the boards. Attendance tally of 229,906 came to 88% of overall capacity, well ahead of last season at this time, when attendance rang in at 80%.

Popular on Variety

More Legit

  • The Sound Inside review

    Broadway Review: 'The Sound Inside' Starring Mary-Louise Parker

    Mary-Louise Parker will take your breath away with her deeply felt and sensitively drawn portrait of a tenured Yale professor who treasures great literature, but has made no room in her life for someone to share that love with. The other thesp in this two-hander is Will Hochman, endearing in the supportive role of a [...]

  • Little Shop of Horrors review

    Off Broadway Review: 'Little Shop of Horrors'

    With its strains of kitschy doo-wop and its sci-fi B-movie inspirations, the quaint 1982 musical “Little Shop of Horrors” hardly seems a thing of modern-day revivalism, even despite its touches of S&M. Yet this year alone, not only is there an Off Broadway production of the blackly comic “Little Shop” featuring Jonathan Groff of Netflix’s [...]

  • The Lightning Thief review musical

    Broadway Review: 'The Lightning Thief,' The Musical

    “It’s a lot to take in right now,” says Percy Jackson, the teen hero of “The Lightning Thief,” the kid-centric fantasy musical (based on the popular Y.A. novel) that’s now on Broadway after touring the country and playing an Off Broadway run. You could say that’s a bit of an understatement from contemporary teen Percy [...]

  • The Rose Tattoo review

    Broadway Review: 'The Rose Tattoo' Starring Marisa Tomei

    “The Rose Tattoo” is what happens when a poet writes a comedy — something strange, but kind of lovely. The same might be said of director Trip Cullman’s production: Strange, if not exactly lovely. Even Marisa Tomei, so physically delicate and expressively refined, seems an odd choice to play the lusty and passionate protagonist, Serafina [...]

  • Obit-Roy-B

    Former NATO President Roy B. White Dies at 93

    Roy B. White, former president and chairman of the National Association of Theater Owners, died of natural causes Oct. 11 in Naples, Fla. He was 93. White ran the 100-screen independent theater circuit, Mid–States Theaters Inc. In addition to his career, he did extensive work on behalf of charities and non-profits. He was vice president [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content