The overall Broadway cume held steady last week with a robust tally, but the trend at individual shows was largely downward in what will likely prove to be the final frame of this month’s multi-week spring-break boost.
But there were plenty of new additions to the lineup to help keep the Rialto in overall health. Besides, “Priscilla Queen of Desert” added further coin to the pot thanks to the major boost it got in its first post-opening sesh.
“Priscilla” ($962,163) was up nearly $225,000 last week, with the musical about roadtripping drag queens playing to an average aud capacity of around 88% in the Palace, on the larger end of the spectrum of Broadway venues.
Another show in its first full week after opening, play revival “Arcadia” ($518,645), also did well, with sales rising by about 21% over the prior frame. Still-previewing “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” ($1,517,600) climbed by more than $100,000, while smaller gains were posted at shows including “Catch Me If You Can” ($630,207 for seven perfs) and “Anything Goes” ($571,560), among others.
“The Book of Mormon” ($625,456) continued to log the highest attendance of the Street, coming in at 102%. Grosses (which last week included the comped opening and some press perfs) have yet to explode, but it seems only a matter of time before receipts shoot up, given the critical praise heaped on the production last week. Another show that opened last week, “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” dropped down to $746,872 during the comp-heavy frame.
There was an array of new spring offerings hitting the boards last week, including tuners “Wonderland” ($588,153), “Sister Act” ($291,811 for three previews) and “Baby It’s You” ($73,130 for one), with “Sister Act” reporting full-house attendance. Meanwhile, “Rock of Ages” ($254,808 for six) returned from its hiatus to begin perfs at its new, smaller venue, the Helen Hayes.
It can be tough to be a new play with an unknown title, as was proven last week by Kathleen Turner topliner “High” ($58,791 for four), off to a very slow start. Chris Rock starrer “The Motherfucker with the Hat” ($290,280 for seven) played to auds at some 66%, with the show seemingly still grappling with a title that’s unprintable in most advertising outlets. Even healthy-looking recent entry “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo” ($556,666), which stars Robin Williams, was down from prior frames ahead of this week’s opening.
In general, it was the newer stuff that attracted aud attention last week, with the Main Stem’s more seasoned offerings, including “Mary Poppins” ($909,660) and “Mamma Mia!” ($709,895), among the tuners to post the larger declines. “The Addams Family” ($686,549) also slid in the first week of new cast addition Roger Rees.
Broadway cume was about on par with last week’s, hitting $22 million for 35 shows on the boards. The end of the spring-break season will likely bring something of an overall downturn next week, although new shows (and newly-minted buzzmagnets) may help counteract the trend.